About Diana Braun

Photo of Diana BraunAs an eight year old child, Diana Braun found herself living in a state-run nursing home in Freeport, Illinois. Taken away from an abusive family, Diana and her brothers and sisters were scattered. At 12, she was sent to the Dixon Developmental Center. She vowed to one day close state run institutions and has devoted her life to doing just that.  In her own words, “Institutions are not a safe place to be.”

At 19, Diana left Dixon.  After meeting Kathy Conour at a sheltered workshop, a friendship began that lasted 42 years.  She took on the ambitious job of personal assistant to her friend and housemate, Kathy Conour. In 2008 Diana and Kathy received the Justin Dart Award from the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois.

Since that time, Diana’s activist commitments have led her to be president of People First, a self-advocates group, and  a member of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. Recently, she served on the board of the Illinois Arc, an organization involved in advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.   Illinois is one of the states that still has a large number of people living in institutions, so Diana has her hands full with her advocacy work.

Diana continues to travel, show the film and present at conferences. To make a tax deductible donation to Diana’s travel fund, please send a check made out to the Arc of Illinois. Please write “Diana Braun Travel Fund Donation” as a memo and mail to:

The Arc of Illinois
20901 South LaGrange Road, Second Floor, Suite #209
Frankfort, IL 60423