Alex Abend’s passion for special education began with her youngest brother who is on the autism spectrum. She was invited to address the United Nations for the first World Autism Day in 2008 because of her advocacy work as a high school student.

Alex began her career in New Orleans as an ABA therapist for young children with autism as well as a special education and disability rights advocate working with Families Helping Families of New Orleans. In 2012, she founded The Prism Project of Greater NOLA, the first inclusive performing arts program for children in the region. In 2013, she co-founded Career Symposium, New Orleans’ first transition-oriented program for special education high school students and their parents and educators.

Alex graduated from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law cum laude. At Cardozo, she was a Public Service Scholar, the Symposia Editor of the Cardozo Law Review, and organized the school’s first major disability conference. She completed her legal internships at Advocates for Children and the Skyer Law firm. Alex was honored to receive both the Inspire! Award and the E. Nathaniel Gates Award in recognition of her legal advocacy work.

Alex lives in Manhattan with her fiancé. She still helps organize Autism Family Nights for TGI Fridays, which she founded in 2006.