The SENIA Student Award honors a student that celebrates the achievements of people with disabilities; encourages awareness of the abilities and aspirations of people with disabilities; and advocates on behalf of exceptional people in the world.

Who May Submit Nominations?

Nominations may be made by:

  • Teachers
  • Principals
  • Related service providers
  • Friends
  • Parents

Award Selection Criteria

The SENIA Student Award Review Committee, which is made up of SENIA members, will select one winner who fulfills the SENIA mission statement:

  • Raising awareness of special needs
  • Advocating for special needs
  • Effort in raising awareness and advocacy
  • Impact on the local, national and international community

Nomination Requirements

  • Submit nominations digitally via the nomination form.
  • Submit all documentation together and in English.
  • One nominator to submit documentation (does not need to be a SENIA member)
  • Double check the spelling of the nominee’s name
  • Submit a nominee’s photo.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation
  • The student must answer one of the following questions (select any medium):
    • What inspires or motivates you to advocate for yourself and/or your peers with special education needs?
    • What do you hope to achieve by advocating for yourself and/or your peers with special education needs?

Award Benefits

  • Attend a special awards ceremony and celebration at the SENIA Conference.
  • Receive accommodations for award winner and chaperone during face to face conferences
  • Receive a plaque honoring the award winner.
  • Receive a financial scholarship of $1500 USD
  • Present a short presentation (10 minutes) at the SENIA conference sharing your inspirational story of awareness and advocacy for special needs.
  • Be featured on SENIA ‘s website, newsletter and social media platforms.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Candidates must be 2 – 21 years of age when they are nominated.
  • Nominee must have an identified disability.


Applications Open: September 1, 2023

Application Deadline: October 15, 2023

Judging: October 15-19, 2023

Decision: October 20, 2023

Ceremony: November 18, 2023

This form is currently closed for submissions.

2021 Student Award Ceremony

Meet Emmy

Congratulations to Sasin (Emmy) Thamakaison as the recipient of the 2021 SENIA Student Award.

Emmy has been involved in inclusion work for many years.  She was the co-chair for an inclusive club called “InvisAbilities” at the International School of Bangkok.  Her club hosted many activities at her school to help create awareness of disabilities and advocate for all students.  She headed SENIA Youth chapter in Bangkok and worked tirelessly to create an Inclusion Club Starter Pack to share with other inclusion clubs around the globe.  In addition to this, she wrote an English-Thai children ‘s book “JJ Squiggly Mind” to explain ADHD.  The proceeds from her non-profit projects has allowed her to provide resources to children from underprivileged backgrounds. Emmy is continuing her inclusive work with the MARIO Framework as their Marketing Coordinator, while attending Stanford University.

As a SENIA Student Award recipient, Emmy will receive a certificate, a monetary scholarship and a plaque.  The awards ceremony was virtual and Emmy provided an inspiring pre-recorded speech. 

Also recognised at the ceremony are the following honorary award winners who are promoting inclusion and making a difference in their communities:

  • Advaith R. Menon
  • Lokawya Lakshmi Kantha Raju
  • Sanjana Nagraj

2022 Student Award Ceremony

Meet Charlotte and Brigette

Congratulations to our two wonderful SENIA Student Award winners for 2022 – Charlotte Holme and Brigette Yasin!


The SENIA Student Award is awarded annually to students who embody SENIA’s mission and vision of promoting inclusion in their communities.  Each winner will receive a plaque, a monetary scholarship and a certificate to show our appreciation of the important work they are doing.


Charlotte Holme has finished her schooling and training and found supported employment at Steps Business Service Center.  Here she has been able to shine as an employee with so much to give.  Some words her employers and colleagues use to describe Charlotte are reliable, hard worker, impeccable attention to detail and dependable. She mentors other trainees during her work day and has become a role model for her work ethic and flow of work.  She has helped to trial non verbal communication systems that let her supervisor know when she needs support or has completed a task. Charlotte is leading the way in encouraging more employers to hire individuals with disabilities and showing that with a few accommodations, individuals with disabilities can be valuable, capable members of a team.  Congratulations, Charlotte!


Brigette Yasin is an avid athlete who represents her school, Keningau Vocational College, at national track meets in Malaysia.  She recently set a new state record of 54 second women’s 400-meter sprint and won both the gold and silver medals in sprint.  She actively promotes inclusive athletics in her state and has become a role model for disabled athletes.  As Brigette is hearing impaired, she wants people to know that she has a voice to be heard and included.  Brigette uses her voice to promote equal representation for athletics as her non-disabled peers so that she may realize her dream of representing Malaysia in the Paralympics.  Congratulations, Brigette!