Elesia Ashkenazy lives in Portland, Oregon. Diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and profoundly deaf, she is passionate about Disability Rights and self-advocacy, and seeks to promote widespread understanding of the needs and rights of autistic individuals, especially females. She is also a parent of a son on the spectrum.
Elesia is the Community Council Chair and Research Assistant for Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE). She is also a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Partnering with People with Developmental Disabilities to Address Violence Project via the University of Montana Rural Institute.
Elesia worked as the Chapter & Outreach Coordinator for Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) for several years and is also a former Board member. In addition, she has served as a member of the Screening Identification and Assessment Subcommittee for the Oregon Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Outside of her advocacy and public speaking work, Elesia aspires to be a published author of Young Adult fiction. She is also a classically trained ballet dancer who continues to take class several times a week and performs whenever the opportunity arises. Elesia is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and is also a cochlear implant recipient. Be sure to check out her blog, Aspitude.