Delaina’s Story

Delaina’s Story

Break barriers

Meet Delaina

With a bright mind and a competitive spirit, Delaina lives to challenge convention. Born near Cape Canaveral, she watched space shuttle launches as a kid, which inspired her to dream big and focus on possibility. For Delaina, solving problems is second nature. Diagnosed at age two with cerebral palsy, she learned to succeed in a world that often overlooks people with disabilities. While studying marketing in college, she started Fearless Independence, a lifestyle brand and consultancy focused on bringing diverse perspectives to business, education, and fashion

“Today, communication is more than just one-on-one or even group interactions... It is about having the independence to explore and share your own experiences, thoughts, [and] feelings with the world.”

— Delaina Parrish

Life with assistive technology

Like many others with cerebral palsy, Delaina has speech and motor difficulties that can make communication a challenge. Just before she started college, her Speech Language Pathologist encouraged her to try AAC (augmentative and alternative communication).

She started using the I-Series, an eye gaze-enabled speech generating device, after testing it at a conference. While she prefers her natural voice around friends and family, Delaina relies on her I-Series in more formal settings, along with Communicator 5, a software that allows her to type with her eyes and convert text to speech. This AAC solution helped Delaina question professors, participate in group projects, and organize and type papers in college.

Now, it helps her prepare for speeches and interviews. In 2021, she used her I-Series at a TEDx event, where she spoke about closing the employment gap for disabled people. That same year, Delaina caught the attention of Forbes Magazine. Her device helped her prepare for the interview so she could represent her thoughts precisely. (She nailed it.)

A professional woman with cerebral palsy working at a desk using eye gaze technology.

Forward & upward

Delaina co-founded Fearless Independence in 2019 with her mom, Trisha, an advertising professional, and her sister, Ali, a physical therapy doctor. With Delaina at the helm, they work to empower people in different industries to repair injustices and push for inclusivity. Representing Fearless Independence, Delaina has collaborated with globally recognized brands like Vera Bradley and Tommy Hilfiger, whose adaptive clothing she modelled at New York Fashion Week. She is also a brand ambassador and consultant for Tobii Dynavox , and has helped us improve our technology and gain an even deeper understanding of our customers. Beyond her professional life, she loves yoga, shopping, and hanging out with friends at tailgate parties. Born to forge new pathways, Delaina always had all the makings of a high achiever. Equipped with assistive technology that can keep pace with her mind—and her lifestyle—this fearless innovator will continue to make headlines—and history.