Ivan Brown has worked in, and contributed to, the field of disabilities for the past 25 years. He began his work life as an elementary school teacher for 8 years before taking a position with Community Living Toronto, where he worked as a vocational counselor and community living support worker while completing his graduate studies in counseling psychology (M.Ed.) and special education (Ph.D.). In 1991, he took a position as Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Health Promotion, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, where he managed a number of large research projects. Several of these addressed quality of life of children with disabilities, adults with developmental disabilities, seniors, and adolescents. He held appointments during the 1990s as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Occupational Therapy and Public Health Sciences, both at the University of Toronto, and taught both in the graduate health promotion program in the Department of Public Health Sciences and in the School of Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University in Toronto, which has a special focus on young children with special needs. Ivan is manager of the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare, a national body for research and policy development in child welfare, to which he brings an important disability focus. The Centre is housed within the graduate Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, in which Ivan holds an appointment of Associate Professor. Research in disability has been, and continues to be, a critical part of his ongoing work.
Ivan has a strong history of community involvement in disability, serving on numerous government and community agency committees and boards, participating in research projects, and acting in leadership roles with several professional organizations. In particular, he was a longstanding member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities and served as its Chair for a 2-year period. In 2001, he was awarded this Association's highest honor, the Directors' Award of Excellence. He is a fellow of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability and is a long-standing member of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (formerly the American Association on Mental Retardation [AAMR]).
Ivan has contributed substantially to the Canadian and international literature, particularly in the areas of quality of life and intellectual disabilities. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications to his credit-in the form of books, book chapters, and journal articles-as well as numerous other articles, editorials, reviews, booklets, scales, and manuals. He has made 112 presentations at academic conferences in the past 10 years, including several keynote speeches. He serves on the review boards of seven academic journals and was co-editor with Maire Percy of the comprehensive text Developmental Disabilities in Ontario, Second Edition (Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities, 2003). He was the founding editor of the Journal on Developmental Disabilities and still sits as a member of its Chief Editorial Board.
Ivan continues to be personally involved in disability issues, through sharing the lives of many friends with disabilities and through sharing his household with a man who has visual and cognitive impairments. He holds a strong belief that including disability as part of our daily life activities is an enriching experience for us all.