Artwork for podcast Special Education Advocacy with Ashley Barlow
Advocacy 101 with Jena Wells
Episode 4429th June 2021 • Special Education Advocacy with Ashley Barlow • Ashley Barlow
00:00:00 00:38:46

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“Advocate” is a title all of us bear, but it may be one that brings hesitancy, overwhelm, and intimidation.  Most parents and caregivers in the disability community did not set out to become advocates.  Rather, our families and their special circumstances lead us to a need to advocate.  So, here we are – with this new title as “advocate” and zero training.  Today’s podcast guest is Jena Wells, mom to four little boys, one of whom has Down syndrome.  The birth of Jena’s son, Ashton, lead her to explore more formal training in advocacy, and before she knew it, she was working in the non-profit world helping families, self-advocates, and organizations that benefits individuals with disabilities.  There’s so much we can all learn from Jena’s advocacy journey.  


Learn more here:  Global Down Syndrome Foundation | Research, Care, Education, Advocacy


Meet my guest: Jena Wells, Disability Family Services Professional

Jena Wells is a dynamic mentor and subject matter expert to numerous families within the disability community. She is passionate about creating inclusive opportunities, access, and a sense of belonging for those she has served. She has worked in the non-profit sector throughout her career (for over 20 years) empowering families to establish their own personal path.

Jena received a BS in Family Community Services with a specialty in health-related topics. She is a leader that cherishes relationship building and has strong emotional intelligence. Jena uses her skills to manage programs, advocate, collaborate, and educate others. She aspires to learn and grow through her work each day while delivering results.

Inspiration for Jena comes from her family and friends. Jena and her husband were blessed with a son who happens to have Down syndrome. He has connected them to a remarkable disability community to which they are deeply involved. She enjoys spending time on nature walks and playing activities with her family while soaking up the rays.

Throughout Jena’s life, she has been a big picture thinker with the ability to manage high ambiguity. She enjoys planning, creating, and executing a vision through to fruition. Her favorite quote and the one she tries to live by is: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams