Welcome to the 2023 APRIL CONFERENCE 

 IL: It's Just Different!

Brandon Brown


Session Overview:

Just how different is the Independent Living (IL) philosophy? Very! Yet newbies to our movement - and a few who’ve been around a while - don’t always understand its beauty and potential. This session is more than a history lesson. It’s an opportunity to discover how and why IL matters in a world full of paternalism and ableism. It’s a discussion of what sets us apart from other service models and how we can leverage our difference into strength. This session is about empowerment as both the content and outcome of our work.


 Additional Session Materials:

  •  No additional materials


About Your Presenter:

Brandon Brown (he/him)

Brandon Brown has been the Executive Director of APRIL since July 2023. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Empower Tennessee, a Center for Independent Living serving the Nashville area, for eight years. Brandon has also been a mental health counselor and program coordinator for Tennessee’s premier HIV/AIDS organization as well as a middle and high school teacher in Georgia and Alabama. His dedication to human services is born from his lived experience as someone with multiple invisible disabilities, including retinitis pigmentosa, borderline personality disorder, and autism spectrum disorder. He is a proud gay man who believes deeply in the value of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, but also recognizes that he has much to learn about what this means in the lives of others. Brandon has presented at the local, regional, and national levels on such topics as ethical decision-making, counseling supervision, intersectional experiences, and the value of Independent Living. He and his son, Coy David, live, work, and play in Nashville.

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