Jessica Benham

  • Bioethics Program

Jessica Benham is a doctoral student in Communication and a master's student in Bioethics at the University of Pittsburgh.  She holds a master's degree in communication studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Her primary research interests lie in investigating the rhetorical and ethical constructions of disability in society.  Her thesis, Proud to be Autistic: Metaphorical Construction and Salience of Cultural and Personal Identity in #StopCombatingMe, presents research on Austistic self-advocacy through a neurodiversity perspective.  Jess is an advocate for Autistic rights, interested in creating sensory friendly spaces in educational settings, increasing access to IEPs for Autistic childre in public schools, helping parents, teachers and healthcare professionals better understand Austic people, and reducing barriers to employment for Autistic adults.  She was recognized in 2016 as an Autistic Scholars Fellow by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network.