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Ashley Jenkins


What was your major?

Exercise and Sports Science (B.S.Ed.) and a certificate in Disability Studies from the Institute on Human Development and Disability (IHDD)

What are your plans or goals for after graduation?

In September, I will be attending the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences to pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy.

How did the certificate program impact you?

As a result of my experience completing the Disability Studies certificate, I have gained a considerable understanding of the social and institutional barriers that remain in society for people with disabilities. I have also learned from remarkable professors, with and without disabilities, who have communicated powerful rhetoric that I believe should be heard by people of all ages and backgrounds. Because of this, I have been able to strengthen my critical thinking skills to put them to use through both therapeutic and advocacy practices throughout my career. Personally, I think the countless, high-quality documentaries we have seen in class have impacted me the most long-term. They have given me such in-depth observations of how many issues impact their lives, but most importantly I have seen people with a wide variety of disabilities who have achieved their personal goals. These experiences have only enhanced my passion for disability advocacy and desire to become a great occupational therapist. 

Why do you think students at UGA should take disability classes through IHDD?

I am honored to attend the University of Georgia, which prides itself in the diversity they offer in both the student population and the unique experiences offered through their curriculum and programs. The IHDD Certificate program offers multiple courses delineating the critical historical, societal, and legal issues that impact individuals with disabilities. The classes involve a lot of creative thinking, problem-solving, and class discussions that provide a lot of freedom in expression that I didn’t get a lot of with my major classes.

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