We are strong, experienced, qualified voices and we are going to be heard

The Team

About Us

Voice for Autism was founded by a group of concerned parents and professionals united in the belief that we have to secure basic human rights and give a voice to young adults with disabilities. We are anchored by the conviction that every individual is entitled to the supports and structure necessary to maximize their potential and live an independent and enriched life.

Voice for Autism is a registered NGO. Registration: LEF/S/205

Our mission

Advocacy, action and support for young adults with disabilities to build meaningful, connected lives. We work to advance independence, productivity and inclusion; and advocate for improved public and private policies.

Our goals & values

  • To create a group home providing independent and supported living services for young adults with disabilities so they can reach their fullest potential. The home will be run by professional, trained and caring staff and will offer life skills and recreational activities.
  • To successfully navigate transitions for young adults with disabilities in all aspects of their lives.
  • To provide employment opportunities for young people with disabilities. Our goal is to match individual interests and skills to employment.  The focus is inclusion, productivity and self-worth. 
  • To create and support high-quality programs that maximize the potential of young people with disabilities and provide opportunities to participate at college campuses, volunteer centres, work sites, and other educational and recreational activities.
  • To advocate for inclusive communities and strategic initiatives to transform the national landscape for young adults with disabilities.
  • To educate communities to recognize capabilities not disabilities.

 

*Inclusion  *Independence  *Empowerment  *Integrity  *Community

Board members

Ellen Georgiou Pontikis

President

Ellen is a founding member of Voice for Autism.  She is a Journalist, Author and Activist and has worked with the BBC, CNN, The Cyprus Weekly, and CYBC.  Her autistic son lived in a group home in California and she has first-hand experience in how a successful group home and work programs can operate. She has extensive NGO experience working with Alkionides in Cyprus; MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), the largest anti-poverty organisation in California; and The Adult Skills Center serving young adults with disabilities in Los Angeles. 

Eugenia Bartela Mina

Vice President

Eugenia is a founding member of Voice  for Autism. She is a parent of two including an autistic young adult. She holds a MSc from the USA in Speech Language Pathology and has been working in Cyprus schools as a Speech Language Pathologist for 30 years. During this time she has worked closely with the Ministry of Education & Culture  in  increasing autism awareness in elementary school children  and has trained mainstream teachers and aides on working with the autistic community in schools. She is also a founding member of MAZI- Friends and Relatives Association of people with Autism. She served as President for four years.

Andrie Christodoulidou

General Secretary

Andrie is a founding member of  Voice for Autism. She holds a BSc and MSc from the USA in Special Education and has been a Special Needs Educator in public schools for over 20 years. She has worked with Social Services and the Ministry of Education & Culture to increase autism awareness, has trained teachers on working with autism, organized conferences and seminars on autism, and created outreach programmes. She is also a founding member for the Pancyprian Association of Special Educators (PASEIP) and has served on the board of NGOs advocating for those with disabilities. Andrie is a Certified Autism Specialist.

Fadi Marouf Abumarkhyyeh

Head of Operations

Fadi is an experienced Operations & Programme coordinator and human rights activist. He has worked and volunteered with various non-profit organisations across Jordan, Cyprus and the United Kingdom including Age UK, Now Teach and Refugee Support Europe – The Dignity Center which offers practical and emotional lifelines to help refugees rebuild their lives.  Key areas of experience in the non-profit sector include programme support, data collection and analysis, fundraising, people support, and operations management.

Noeleen Advani

Treasurer

Noeleen is a researcher, practitioner and activist with professional experience in global health and social change. She currently supports the UK government to grow the capacity of hundreds of overseas civil society organisations through programme design, data management, analysis, and evaluation. She has worked and volunteered with civil society organisations in Africa, Asia, the US, and Europe, including supporting adults with intellectual disabilities to live independently through The Nesbitt Centre.

Advisory Committee

Meet our Advisory Committee: Dr. Machi Cleanthous, Kristia Christou, Dr. Louiza Voniati, Dr. Maria Stylianou, Dr. Anastasia Hadjiyiannakou and Andrie Christodoulidou. We are calling them the ‘Dream Team’ and are thrilled to be working with such calibre of professionals. The Advisory Committee was handpicked by our Board of Directors and is comprised of academics and practitioners who are leaders in their field and who provide invaluable assistance and expertise to our NGO.

Support us

Donate

Voice for Autism is a registered nonprofit and NGO. Your contribution will have a direct impact on our ability to improve the lives of young adults with disabilities.

member

If you are interested in the well-being of young people with autism, then press the button below and become a member for the Voice for Autism Organization.
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