Christinne Gray is a bilingual speaker, a published author, and disability advocate. She earned her B.A. and M.S. from the University of Central Florida, but it is her unique experience as a single Hispanic parent with Cerebral Palsy that fuels her lifelong passion of advocacy for the rights of parents with disabilities and inclusion of persons with disabilities. “I was born 3 months early, weighing in at a little over 2 pounds. Doctors told my mom that I had Cerebral Palsy and that I would never have a normal life. But right from the start, I was a fighter.” Christinne regularly lectures on a wide variety of topics including accessibility, health care advocacy, disability sensitivity and more.

People with Disabilities Can Still Accomplish their Dreams! Christinne Gray earned her B.A. and M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. She is a bilingual speaker, a published author, and disability advocate. It is her unique experience as a single Hispanic parent with Cerebral Palsy that fuels her lifelong passion of advocacy for the rights of parents with disabilities and inclusion of persons with disabilities. Christinne regularly lectures on a wide variety of topics including accessibility, health care advocacy, disability sensitivity and more.

I was born 3 months early, weighing in at a little over 2 pounds. Doctors told my mom that I had Cerebral Palsy and that I would never have a normal life. But right from the start, I was a fighter. My diagnosis didn’t stop my mom from encouraging me to live like everyone else. And it didn’t stop me from believing that I could. I played with as much energy as any other child, and I studied as hard as anyone else (perhaps harder). After many surgeries, I learned to walk with a cane. When I got to college, I was told I would flunk out and was better off staying at home to collect Social Security checks. So, I showed them what I could do. I graduated from the University of Central Florida not once, but twice, receiving a Master’s in Criminal Justice.

The years after graduation flew by. I got married, and while I liked my job working for a non-profit for the disabled, I felt that it was not quite my calling. After my son was born, I realized that what I really wanted was a speaking and writing career where I could use my story to show that people with disabilities can still accomplish their dreams. Could I do it?

I kept my dreams at bay for a while, but I knew what I wanted and was determined to get it.

Little by little I leaned into it, started a blog where I voiced my story, and got great feedback. The fighter in me loved the challenge, so I took it up a notch and wrote a book, “?????”, all about my difficulties and triumphs as a woman with Cerebral Palsy with the hope that my story can help others like me. Being a mom has been one of the greatest gifts. My son is healthy, happy and thriving. I am proud to succeed as both a mom and an advocate.

Everyone should understand that we all have goals we want to achieve. The only difference for the disabled is that we might have to take some extra steps along the way to reach them. It’s easier if we walk together.

To book Christinne for your next meeting or event, email amy@gesherdr.org or call (805) 724-4948