Ashley Cowan D'Ambrosio
Mad/Mentally Ill/Crazy/Insane, Chronically Ill, Fat*, Queer,
Disabled AF High School Dropout
Ashley is an award-winning Disability Activist, Educator and the CEO & Founder of Crip Riot! She has worked for years in the activist space, researching the systems and incentives structures which create inequities in access to society for disabled people. While at the University of Washington (UW), Ashley developed debilitating nerve pain from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and as a result completed her degree remotely and asynchronous. This was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which moved the institution to fully remote instruction. It is because of this experience fighting for remote access, that she has been an advocate for integrated distance learning access and has brought these considerations to her formal role in the ASUW Student Disability Commission at the UW, and in the Crip Riot workplace.
Ashley is also a guest lecturer in the College of Education, and an Affiliate of the Disability Studies Program at the University of Washington. Ashley is particularly interested in how systems design influences human behavior, and how these reinforce inequities across our communities. When she is not working to grow Crip Riot, she works as a Human Resources consultant, specializing in helping small to mid-range businesses address systemic barriers to growth.
FUN FACT: Ashley is working as a disability consultant for a children’s book set to release in 2023 (stay tuned!) and her favorite way to stim is: Papermate Clearpoint® Pencils
“Disability was the best gift to my life, as my function reached the point where I couldn’t leave my bed and I had no choice but to give up control. It was painful and scary, but the Disability community helped me to find liberation and a sense of belonging when the world around me became inaccessible. It’s that gift that I want to give to others, through the world we build with Crip Riot."