Our Mission

No two stories are the same. We hope to spread disability awareness and share stories of individuals with all kinds of disabilities, their families, and people working to make the world a better place for those with disabilities. Through our interviews and our guest article posts, we want to start a discussion in the world of disabilities resources and stories.

Our Team

Thomas Mathew

As President, Thomas facilitates interactions between our guest article writers while also helping our writers find their direction in their writing. He also helps runs the website by posting articles and organizing comments.

Outside of the intiative, he is a part of his high school track team and robotics team. In his free time, he likes to twist balloon animals and ponder deep philosophical questions.

Nithila Poongovan

As Co-Founder of the Embracing Special Needs Intiative, she organizes guest writers, oversees video project and Central Park Event operations, and manages the blog website. Since 2018, Nithila has been working alongside an award-winning animator in London, the Santa Clara Mayor and the Santa Clara Youth Council to display a video promoting further integration of kids with special needs into school.

Nithila is a senior at Santa Clara High School. She is interested in everything AI and aspires to build robotic assistive technology for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some of her hobbies includes FIRST robotics and cross-country running.

Meghana Repaka

As Co-Founder of the Embracing Special Needs Intiative, Meghana conducts interviews, manages the social media accounts, directs the team, and oversees the video project and Central Park Event work. She is responsible for arranging meetings, interviews and planning article publications while tailor the communication to fit local audience requirements.

Meghana is a senior at Lynbrook High School. She is interested in psychology and hopes to use her interests to benefit the community. Some of her hobbies include Indian Classical Dance and Art. With her acquired knowledge and extensive volunteer work experience with kids of all ages, she hopes to interact, teach and also learn more with the children of her community.

Video Project - Outreach Team

Kaitlyn Butcher

Kaitlyn Butcher is a Outreach Coordinator of the Video Project Team. Her role is to reach out and collect information of US School Districts to conduct our video project at. She is currently a sophomore at Santa Clara High. In her spare time she enjoys playing competitive soccer, running track, coding, and volunteering with the American Red Cross.

Ein Hong

Ein Hong is a freshman at Santa Clara High School and a Outreach Coordinator at Embracing Special Needs. She is interested in career fields involving marketing and management. She has worked with children of various ages through volunteering at organizations and is a part of the outreach subgroup in her robotics team.

Special Thank You to all Our Guest Writers and Interviewees!

Carla McManus

Varshini Raaj

Anita Miron

Thomas Mathew

Melinda Vasquez

Rita Miceli

Noelle Smith

Allison Fogarty

Parm Bhullar

Marlene Tavares

Sudeepthi Manukonda

J. Sharada Ram

Robyn Caple

Aisha Christa Atkinson

Temple Grandin

David Buckley

Jade Joyce

Kevin Harris

Chandra Ferrell

Suzi Panovska

Cindy Decker

Allania Lathrop

Justin Vantreese

Jonathan Curmor

Diana Farmer

Serin Benadiba

Dr. Temple Grandin

Michelle Cox

Sophie Holmes

Francene Noel

Grace Strobel

Robert James Parker

Kindra Sterling

Sean and Annasha

Alexis Wood

Fred Marvel

Will Stokes

Lisa Loyd

Lorraine Brown

Ashlea Rimmer

Georgina King

Krystle Prashad

Shalita Thomison

Agnes Chapman

Kerry Harrison

Thamanna Choudhury

Louisa Briggs

Dr. Carol Baltazar

The Autistic Blogger

Vicky Finlayson

Tanishq Morcha

Matt Westerheide

Kari Hall

Stephen Ford

Lynsey Hughes

Laura Bromptom

Amy Hamilton

Kirby Morgan