Happy Beginnings | Jordyn Zimmerman ’20 Wants to Be a Catalyst for Change

Ohio University, April, 2020

Advocate for All

Ohio Today, August, 2018


Ohio Student to Receive International Award

Council for Exceptional Children, April, 2017

Student Uses App to Communicate With Others

Fox8 News, January, 2016



Leaders Around Me: Autobiographies of Autistics who Type, Point, and Spell to Communicate

Leaders Around Me: Autobiographies of Autistics who Type, Point, and Spell to Communicate is a compilation of 45 autobiographies of extraordinary individuals who use keyboards, letter boards, and communication devices. Edited by Edlyn Pena.


STUDENT VOICE: As a person with autism, I spend lots of time studying, attending class — and explaining that I am not deaf

Hechinger Report, December, 2017

STUDENT VOICE: They told me I’d never go to college but I just finished my freshman year — what about all the other students with autism?

Hechinger Report, May, 2017

Communication As A Basic Right

Medium, April, 2017

Inspiration for 2016-17: Impact That Lasts A Lifetime

OhioSpeaks, September, 2016

A Letter to my IEP Team

The Mighty, November, 2015



Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA: Anticipated December, 2021

Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Severe Needs

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio: May, 2020 

Bachelor of Specialized Studies in Education Policy

Minor in Communication Studies

Certificate in Law, Justice, & Culture 

Related Experience

National Disability Rights Network, Washington, DC: May-August 2019

Public Policy Intern

  • Meet with representatives and other officials to discuss issues pertaining to safety, education and employment

  • Attend, research, and report on Congressional briefings, hearings, coalition meetings, and other relevant meetings, as well as track legislation and regulatory issues

Mentor Cardinal Autism Resource and Education School: Summer 2016, Summer 2017, Summer 2018

Classroom Assistant and Art Instructor

  • Developed, adapted and instructed art lessons for 50+ students aged 5-21

  • Provided one-on-one assistance to students struggling behaviorally and/or socially

  • Utilized Boardmaker to create visuals, task organizers, social stories and token boards to help students meet their educational, social and behavioral needs


Ohio University Student Senate, October 2017 - April 2020

Commissioner for Minority Affairs 

  • Advocate for student interest and accessibility across campus

Ohio University Sparkles, August 2016 - May 2020

Founder and President

  • Consult and collaborate with university administrators, representatives and departments

  • Communicate with the officers, members, parents and the national Sparkle Effect

  • Oversee activities and the coordination of events


Council for Exceptional Children: Yes I Can!

National Speech and Debate Association: District Student of the Year, Finalist