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 International 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: April 1, 2021

Application Deadline: October 23, 2021

Judging: October 24 – 30, 2021

Decision: November 1, 2021

Ceremony: December 3 – 5, 2021

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
SENIA Student Award

Nominee Information

To be written on certificate and other materials
If applicable
If applicable
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