In Memory of Steve Brown

Hoping to be on the Road Again: Lillian and Steve's Go Fund Me for Wheelchairs(s) Accessible Van
Lillian Gonzales Brown and her husband, Steve Brown, seek $100,000 for an accessible van that can fit both their wheelchairs. Currently, they have a 2003 van, which will only accommodate one wheelchair. In addition, parts are becoming obsolete, and repairs are becoming more frequent and expensive.
My name is Patricia Fox. Let me tell you a little bit about my amazing friends I’ve known for over 40 years and why your financial support will ensure they can continue to lead and be amazing disability rights role models!
I’ve heard Lil say for years that: BEING DISABLED IS EXPENSIVE!
The fundamental problem is that both of their wheelchairs will not fit in their current van. They’ve been investigating the cost of getting one of the two vans that would work for them and wondering where the money is going to come from.
The problem became more immediate when Steve fell on their garage floor in early March this year. He broke both his left arm and the femur in his right leg. He's had surgery on the leg, and as of this writing he is not supposed to put any weight on his left arm.
The time for a new van is NOW. It's not just the vehicle that's needed, the van needs lock down clamps to make it safe to drive from their wheelchairs. Few such vans are manufactured, and they cost in the neighborhood of $70,000. Steve and Lil will need hand controls to drive, which in Arizona means being evaluated and certified. Then the controls need to be installed in the van. This is estimated at $5,000 - $10,000 added to the overall cost of a wheelchair accessible van.
After working all of their lives fighting for independence, theirs is suddenly disappearing. Is it too much to ask that they can get in the car and go for a drive together? That's something most couples don't have to give a second thought.
Lil started her career as a disability rights advocate and educator in the 1970's in Berkeley, CA. In her job, she met people from all over the world, which led to working in other countries, including being invited by the Japanese government to present at a series of conferences. She completed a yearlong intensive study at the Sex and Disability Unit at UCSF and became a Health Educator at Planned Parenthood. She's lectured both nationally and internationally.
Steve, in the early 1980s, encountered employment discrimination, being told by a company looking for someone to write their history that he was unable write a book because he used crutches. At the same time, he was learning about disability rights and understood this was discrimination based on disability. He started working at Progressive Independence, an ILC in Norman, OK, where he eventually became the director.
In 1990, Steve accepted a position as Training Director at the World Institute on Disability in Oakland, CA, where he and Lillian met. They had a whirlwind romance, married, and decided to move to NM, where they started the Institute on Disability Culture, a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization promoting Disability Pride. They spoke at national and international conferences, conducted trainings and workshops and developing disability related policy both in the US and in other countries.
More about Lil and Steve and Disability Culture can be found at:


  • Hannah Karpilow
    • $20 
    • 9 d
  • Judith Stess
    • $100 
    • 10 d
  • Anonymous
    • $40 
    • 10 d
  • Kerstin Schoen
    • $500 
    • 10 d
    • $200 
    • 10 d

Fundraising team: Lillian and Steve's Van (2)

Patricia Fox
Raised $74 from 2 donations
Surprise, AZ
Steven Brown
LIL Gonzales
Team member
Raised $200 from 1 donation
This team raised $39,390 from 219 other donations.

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