KEEPING IT REAL: Ashley’s Story

Thu 27 Apr 2023

Keeping It Real: Ashley’s Story*
By Ashley Glears

Hi! My name is Ashley Glears. I am an aspiring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. At birth, I was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Because of my disability, I attended countless speech, physical, and occupational therapy sessions. Despite having a disability, I remained confident that one day I would help children, adolescents, their families, and the community. 

I began the realization of this life goal by first earning my greatest achievements. I earned an Associate’s degree in General Studies at Montgomery College (MC) in Maryland, moving on to earn my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Then I enrolled at Trinity Washington University and earned a Master’s degree in Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction.  I hope to earn a DEI Certificate in the next few years to help me reach my goal of becoming a DEI Officer. 

My disability played a significant role in my life. However, I did not always display self-confidence. Growing up, I did not have many friends. I was often bullied because of my speech and physical features. But overcoming the challenges and developing confidence is vital and admirable to others with disabilities. 

Some advice I would give a person with cerebral palsy is to be empowered. We have voices that can reshape the disability community and the world. 

*Ashley's story is part of KEEPING IT REAL — a series of personal stories that will take you deeper into the lives of people with CP. Each person makes different choices based on what works for them, and we’ll showcase that — highlighting what life is like for them on a daily basis, what they care about, and the ways CP impacts them. 

The KEEPING IT REAL blog is intended solely to raise awareness about the varied human experience with cerebral palsy and shouldn't be read or construed to contain any medical advice or medical endorsement by Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. Only you and your doctor know what's best for you. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

Tue 16 Jul 2024

By Kim Greene Season of Confirmation With his affirmative comment and now wondering if indeed I had a neurological issue, I googled what I knew about my history. I knew that I had been adopted and born eight weeks early and had to be kept in the hospital until I was stable and weighed more […]

Wed 10 Jul 2024

A green background with black rectangle across the bottom. In the left are the colors of the disability pride flag to the right white text reads "Hosted by" the the CPARF and CVI logos. Above, text in dark grey reads: CP & CVI Now: A Community Discussion followed by July 25, 2024 from 5:30-6:30 pm ET.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation (CPARF) and CVI Now (part of the CVI Center at Perkins School for the Blind) are hosting a joint event on Thursday, July 25 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm ET. Launching CPARF’s new “CP &…” series, the event will dive deep into the connections between cerebral palsy (CP) and […]