Jennifer Restle advocates and educates on issues of diversity and inclusion, which sprang from personal experience and began before she knew the terms. At Vassar College, while acquiring a degree in psychology, the personal grew into something larger as she realized the universality of the “disability experience.” After graduation, Jen worked to create a voice for students with disabilities at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, educating administration while nurturing students through a peer mentoring program.
Eventually, Jen’s heleotropic nature brought her to San Diego where she expanded her skills by becoming active in the bisexual community. For three years, she coordinated San Diego Bisexual Forum, then moved on to create the first bisexual support and discussion groups at the LGBT Center.
Missing her disability routes, Jen began writing this blog to articulate to the non-disabled world the day-to-day experiences of one woman who lives with blindness, a chronic illness and mental health issues.
South of the border, Jen had her first taste of mixing disability and sexual orientation when she presented a workshop entitled “When Crip and Queer Collide” at a conference linked with Tijuana’s annual Pride festival. Asked to join the newly formed San Diego Pride Diversity Task Force, Jen finally discovered she could combine disability and bisexuality activism into one glorious, long-term undertaking, raising awareness of bisexual invisibility while helping to develop concrete accessibility measures for the annual Pride festival. Most recently, Jen was appointed to the board of Disability rights California, which includes serving on the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Council. Her outside passions include the local music scene and baking the perfect gluten-free muffin.