The idea of hope as a process

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.

But solving these problems requires more than physical adjustments. It necessitates understanding the experiences of people with disabilities and involving them in the creation of purposefully designed spaces, policies, and more.

In this episode, renowned disability rights advocate and Associate Professor at Stony Brook University Brooke Ellison explores the complex and often misunderstood world of disabilities with This Anthro Life host Adam Gamwell. Drawing from her latest memoir “Look Both Ways,” Brooke also shares her journey as an activist and the importance of inclusivity and accessibility.

Brooke Ellison, a brilliant author and inspiring speaker, has dedicated her life to advocating for disability rights and raising awareness about the sociocultural issues surrounding it. Having experienced a life-altering car accident at the age of eleven that left her paralyzed from the neck down, Brooke's journey has been one of resilience, determination, and self-discovery. With a PhD in sociology and a passion for making a difference, Brooke has taken on multiple roles, including serving on the President's Council on Bioethics and the Spinal Cord Injury Research Board of New York State. As a professor and medical ethics expert as well as someone living with quadriplegia, she brings a unique perspective to the conversation on disability, challenging societal norms and advocating for a more inclusive world.

Show Highlights:

• [05:48] Why Brooke wrote her two memoirs
• [12:35] The value of bringing in personal experiences when teaching about disability
• [19:57] The idea of hope as a process
• [27:42] How disabilities highlight the interconnectedness of our lives
• [32:15] The value of taking a sociocultural approach to disability
• [36:11] Why Brooke ran for public office in 2006
• [42:10] Why Brooke started the nonprofit Brooke Ellison Project
• [44:16] Interesting findings of Brooke’s dissertation on stem cell research

Links and Resources:

• Look Both Ways (TAL Affiliate Bookstore)
• Check out Brooke Ellison’s website
• Connect with Brooke Ellison via LinkedIn or her website
• Connect with Adam Gamwell via email , LinkedIn , or Twitter
• Subscribe to the This Anthro Life newsletter

Check out the full episode here: