Scholar, author, professor, disabilities rights activist, humanitarian
Brooke Ellison, PhD is an associate professor of health policy and medical ethics at Stony Brook University and the VP of Tech Access for the United Spinal Association.
At age 11, a car accident left Brooke paralyzed from the neck down and ventilator-dependent. At 21, she graduated magna cum laude
from Harvard University, with a degree in cognitive neuroscience. She received her MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School, and her PhD in sociology from Stony Brook University.
A policy and ethics expert in stem cell research, Brooke served for 7 years on the Empire State Stem Cell Board, which designed New York’s stem cell policy. Brooke’s first book, "Miracles Happen" (2002), was adapted into "The Brooke Ellison Story," a movie directed by Christopher Reeve. In her newest memoir, "Look Both Ways," Brook returns to the remarkable story of her life, centering herself in a broader conversation about personal struggle, public policy, and what it means to be human.
People with disabilities often face accessibility issues in physical environments, such as a lack of ramps, narrow doorways, and inaccessible transportation. Every barrier is a reminder that designs are choices, ones made without people with disabilities at the decision-making table.