Bedore wrote a winning essay about the importance of self-love and education in overcoming cerebral palsy’s challenges.

TAMPA, FL, September 21, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — “I’ve transformed my identity from broken to confident,” writes Ashley Bedore in her essay for the Distasio Law Firm Birth Injury Survivor Scholarship. In earlier life, Bedore was “broken” by trying to hide her cerebral palsy, scoliosis, and left hemiplegia (paralysis of the body’s left side).

She writes, “Instead of asking for the help and accommodations I needed to do everything I wanted to do, I thought trying to pass as non-disabled was the only way to exist in my disabled body and move forward.”

Now, she has full confidence in her identity as a disabled person, loves the experience and insight she has obtained by virtue of her birth injury, and is a passionate advocate of the rights of other disabled people. Rather than seeing herself as “faulty and a mistake in need of fixing,” she now claims her disability “in a way that empowers me fully.”

Ashley Bedore, a student at the University of Colorado – Denver, has now lived independently for over a year and is finishing up the first half of a sociology degree. But her advocacy is not limited to campus. She sparked online conversation about live music’s need to become more accessible (especially during COVID-19), eventually agreeing to an interview with VICE on the subject.

Bedore also cooks, gardens, and helps administrate a local mutual aid group, which she says has been incredibly rewarding and empowering. “That’s what mutual aid is all about,” she said in an interview about the scholarship. “[It’s about] that reciprocal care.”

There is no better way to sum up Bedore’s outlook than to use the final line from her essay. “Nobody sees the world like you,” she writes. “And that is always a strength, not a weakness.”

Founded by attorney Scott Distasio, Distasio Law Firm is a personal injury firm that represents injured clients throughout the state of Florida. Its previous cases have included medical malpractice, wrongful death, nursing home abuse and neglect, car accident claims, and a host of other situations that demand justice. In keeping with its goal of helping all people affected by injury, the firm established the Birth Injury Survivor Scholarship with a $2,500 award.

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