Isabella Brown

Isabella Brown, MA


Isabella C. Brown holds a Master of Arts in Special Education from San Francisco State University and is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Joint Doctoral Program with the University of California, Berkeley. Isabella’s scholarly research centers on unraveling systemic barriers impeding and constraining meaningful parent-school partnerships for Black families in special education. Her work builds upon her desire to inform changes in policy by investigating inequitable disability and special education systems phenomena from a multidisciplinary lens. Isabella also lectured in a course titled Inclusive Education: Empowerment and Equity in Diverse Schools at San Francisco State University and recently held a leadership role in the Introduction to Disability Studies undergraduate course at UC Berkeley.

In addition to her personal scholarship, she served as the Graduate Student Researcher at the UCSF-UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia & Cognitive Diversity Center. Alongside her research team, she looked at supports for students with disabilities following the onset of COVID-19 and home-based distance learning. In another study rooted in the review of early empirical autism literature, Isabella uncovered findings that pointed to the homogeny in racial/ethnic demography implications for the future of the field. In addition, she acted as the program coordinator and family coordinator for the inaugural year of an inclusion pilot program that welcomed three students of color with intellectual or developmental disabilities to take university classes for the first time.

She is tenacious about using research and informing policy to increase opportunities for parental knowledge sharing while encouraging diversity in mainstream autistic culture. Black and Brown children on the autism spectrum deserve the same commitment of care as students with perceived privileges.