Jessica Benham received her MA in Bioethics in 2019 with a thesis, Childhood and Disability: Ethical Considerations, and is currently completing her doctorate in communication at the University of Pittsburgh. She holds an MA in Communication from Minnesota State University, Mankato, where her thesis, Proud to be Autistic: Metaphorical Construction and Salience of Cultural and Personal Identity in #StopCombatingMe, presented research on self-advocacy by those with autism through a neurodiversity perspective. Jess is an advocate for autistic rights of individuals with autism, and is interested in creating sensory friendly spaces in educational settings, increasing access to IEPs for Autistic children in public schools, reducing barriers to employment for adults with autism, and helping parents, teachers and healthcare professionals better understand people with autism. She was recognized in 2016 as an Autistic Scholars Fellow by the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and is currently Director of Development at the Pittsburgh Center for Autistic Advocacy. She is also running for State Representative for Pennsylvania House District 36.