Stephen Eyman grew up in a home where the disability experience was an everyday part of the family tapestry. This instilled in him a love for diverse forms of communication, a desire to see people live life to the fullest, and opportunities to support people to transcend communication differences to connect with one another. Stephen studied Spanish and International Studies at Whitworth University. He had the opportunity to study abroad in Central America, where he learned to appreciate the nuances of language, culture, and the importance of human rights and social justice on a global scale. Stephen was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to teach English at a university in Colombia where he developed a passion for higher education, bilingualism, and peacebuilding. Upon his return, it became clear to Stephen that many of these themes are highly relevant to his brother’s experience with disability and social services. He believes in the importance of promoting rights, dignity, and quality of life for people of all backgrounds, abilities, and communication styles.
Because of his experience, Stephen sees great opportunity in sibling education, and recognizes the valuable role siblings can play when they are invited to the conversation and have access to information and training. Stephen strives to think outside the box to support people to achieve fullness of life and equity, and he sees employment as a valuable tool to achieve this goal. Stephen lives in his home community of Spokane, WA, which he considers an underappreciated gem of the ever-beautiful Pacific Northwest. There, he has worked in employment services, community access, therapeutic recreation, and in the development of a work study project with local universities involving Person-Centered Planning and support for students (14-21) in preparation for transition from high school. Stephen is passionate about international collaboration, accessible higher education for nuerodiverse students, effective public policy, creative communication strategies, and culturally competent and/or bilingual services.