Jessica Clay image

Jessica Clay is a CSUCI School of Education graduate student who is dedicated to bringing equality to those with disabilities. Jessica graduated from CSUCI in 2022 with her MA in Education with a disability studies emphasis. Her graduate thesis was titled, “DISABILITY AWARENESS BRINGS EQUALITY: INVOLVING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE DESIGN OF A COMPREHENSIVE AWARENESS PROGRAM”. The beginning of Jessica’s thesis reads, “As a person with a disability, who is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and uses a power wheelchair, I have always been passionate about advocating for individuals with disabilities. People who experience disability face different forms of inequality and barriers. Many barriers come from outside sources, including physical, society, and attitudes towards disability. For example, the inaccessibility of public places and the public’s negative attitudes can act as a barrier that people with disabilities face in society. Because of this, I have always wanted to develop a disability awareness program in order to promote some much-needed social change, challenge people’s perceptions, and create equality and inclusion for individuals with disabilities.”

In addition to being an advocate for those with disabilities, Jessica performs a type of dance that includes people with and without disabilities, called integrated dance. Her passion for dance and advocacy has led her begin developing a disability awareness program that could be used in both schools and dance studios. The goal of her program is to provide dancers and students with an education on disabilities that they can use in dance, and in turn, society. She says, “Now that I have graduated with my MA degree, I plan to further pursue my career as a disability advocate and finalize the disability awareness program that I started developing when conducting my thesis. After the disability awareness program is finalized, I am going to take it to schools and dance studios to promote some much-needed social change, challenge people’s perceptions, and create equality and inclusion for individuals with disabilities.”

Way to go, Jessica! We can’t wait to see what great things you do.

Back to Top ↑
©