Isabella is a 19-year-old diploma bound home school student. As a limited speaking autistic, Isabella was largely misunderstood due to her sensory and motor differences. Being unable to communicate meant she was often presumed incompetent and her learning consisted of remedial and repetitive tasks in both public and non-public schools.
Learning to communicate by pointing to letters to spell at age 10 changed the course of Isabella’s life. During middle school, Isabella was enrolled in a Catholic school where she experienced full inclusion with the support of a communication partner. Here she gained access to the general education curriculum for the first time.
Having gained confidence as an AAC user, Isabella has presented with her friends in a Wellspring Guild webinar, the 38th annual CAL-Tash conference as well as the SLI “Summer Leadership Institute” as a self advocate alongside internationally recognized inclusion experts. She was a panelist at the CAMA “Communication Always Matter All Ways” virtual conference in May of 2021 to share her experiences as an AAC user.
Isabella served as a delegate in the 2021 California Youth Leadership Forum for students with disabilities this summer to further her advocacy and leadership skills. She was nominated and selected as a recipient of a YLF Harry Servidio Memorial Leadership Award.
Isabella serves on a panel of historically under represented autistics to support equity, diversity and inclusion for non speaking autistics and was selected to be part of a contributor and content reviewer team for "Communication for Education" which focuses on eliminating systemic barriers to AAC in educational settings.
Isabella’s passions include spreading awareness on AAC, inclusion, friendship and presuming competence. Most importantly, she believes that all students deserve access to a quality education despite their differences.
Isabella loves hanging out with her friends, eating tacos, and traveling.