Ashley Wells Ajinkya
Experienced speaker and advocate on mental health, invisible disability, DEI + accessibility in publishing, and womens' career paths
Ashley (she/her) is an passionate speaker on the topics of mental health and invisible disabilities. She shares her personal experiences with depression and anxiety, chronic migraines, and cognitive dysfunction (due to a traumatic brain injury [TBI]) in an effort to break down the walls harmful stigmas often hold up.
Her presentations can be tailored to focus on workplace wellness, finding support and community, or how to be a disability ally. She can also customize talks to fit a client's unique needs.
Presentation attendees have shared positive feedback:
"Thank you so much for your incredible openness and vulnerability today! I really enjoyed your presentation, and I really appreciated you using this platform to share your lived experience and connect it back to workplace wellness. I struggle with depression, anxiety, and chronic illness as well, and figuring out how to navigate all that at work is a challenge. And it was very encouraging to hear how you’ve tackled your own challenges and found solutions to build support and community."
"I’ve been meaning to reach out and thank you for sharing your experience in your presentation. I was diagnosed with anxiety back in 2016, and [...] I especially appreciated the practical tips. I’ve been to so many talks about mental health and mindfulness, and yours was the first one I could actually relate to. It could not have been more timely as the last month has been particularly difficult for me. You truly have a gift for this work and I hope you continue!"
Ashley currently works in the publishing sector as an accessibility advocate and account manager at Benetech (benetech.org).
Her previous experience includes five years with Amazon's self-publishing business Kindle Direct Publishing, where she developed and led a DEI-focused project. As a woman in tech with a background in graphic design, she is also positioned to speak on career paths and their often (very) winding roads.
Ashley is a contributing writer for We Need Diverse Books (diversebooks.org).
She believes all children and young adults should see themselves as the main character and has conversations with authors writing books which lend to this goal.
She is also a 2021-2022 Ambassador for The Pad Project (thepadproject.org) where she works on menstrual equity through an intersectional lens.