About Us

Our Mission and Vision

At The Accidental Ally, we dream of a digital world that is accessible to EVERYONE —regardless of their abilities.

Our mission is to create engaging, enriching work experiences that fuel the financial prosperity and wellbeing of people with cognitive & intellectual disabilities. 

Our vision is to harness the ability in the disability and fuel the transformation of people with disabilities from being invisible to becoming invincible. 

We aspire to enable the shift from dis-ability to discovering-ability. 

Our Beliefs

Dis-ability to Discovering-Ability

Human aptitude is diverse, we take to things differently. We aspire to harness the talents and passions of people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities so that we can enable their transformation from being invisible to becoming invincible. We want to enable the shift from dis-ability to discovering-ability.

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Disability impacts everyone.

Disability is a human experience. It impacts some more than others but it touches all of us. Human ability changes over time. When products are built by factoring in a broad spectrum of human abilities, we all benefit from an inclusive and accessible world.

Untapped Talent Pool

We believe that the disabled workforce is a very large untapped talent pool that if harnessed the right way can fuel the next round of innovation in tech and digital space. We believe we can help employers tap into this talent pool and create engaging, enriching work programs that will support their business goals.

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Disability Enabled Digital Innovation

We want to stimulate and harness the creative capacities of people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities so that they can contribute to the next wave of digital innovation. We believe that the ONLY way to build an inclusive and accessible world is by involving people with disabilities in the creation of digital products.

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The power of ONE

We believe in the power of ONE. All it takes is one employee, one leader, one internship to change the organizations view of disability inclusion.

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Disability hiring is good for business.

Hiring people with disabilities improves organization health, increases your sales and profit margins, gives you a competitive advantage, improves your brand identity and helps you tap into a large untapped market segment.

Why we do what we do

We aspire to harness the talents and passions of people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities so that we can enable their transformation from being invisible to becoming invincible. We want to help them find their element and create a deeply meaningful professional life based on their natural talents.

Gayatri with interns Maddison, Laith, Dasheil, Roan and Rohan posing for a group picture outdoors one sunny afternoon.

Who We Are

We are a team of people who are passionate about inclusion, with 20+ years of tech experience building products for the most respected brands in the world.

Our passion for building inclusive and human centric digital experiences is what drives our work everyday. 

We believe that the next wave of innovation in the area of digital accessibility will come from people with disabilities. 

We are passionate about connecting people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities to enriching and engaging work experiences. 

We are passionate about connecting employers to an untapped and underutilized talent pool. 

Gayatri Kini

Gayatri Kini

Sir Ken Robinson once said, ” Every single one of the 100 billion lives who have walked the face of this earth is unique and unrepeatable. To be born at all is a miracle, so what are you going to do with your life?” 

I want to stimulate the creative capacities of people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities so that they can contribute to the next wave of digital innovation. 

I want to harness their talents and passions so that we can enable their transformation from invisible to becoming invincible.

I want to help them find their element and create a deeply meaningful professional life based on their natural talents. 

Gayatri is the Founder and CEO at The Accidental Ally. 

Sneha Arvind

Sneha Arvind

“As a Designer, I believe that I have the responsibility to create experiences that everyone can access regardless of ability, context or circumstance.

Designing experiences for all kinds of people can often seem daunting but it need not be.

My work with The Accidental Ally has helped me realize that thinking about accessibility as a default and right from the get go rather than an afterthought brings a better experience for all kinds of users.”

Sneha heads Design and Research at The Accidental Ally.

Rojene Russell

Rojene Russel

Rojene is a graphic designer, and is currently the Social Media Coordinator for The Accidental Ally. She was also a summer intern with The Accidental Ally in 2021. 

In addition, she attends ARC Broward weekly where she is being prepared for the workforce. Rojene completed two certifications at McFatter Technical College in Graphics Designs and Web Development. She is always willing to serve and volunteered at Memorial Health Care System in their marketing department and is also volunteering at ARC Broward in their marketing department.

Rojene coordinates our Social Media and Marketing initiatives.

Rohan in a blue striped shirt laughing at someone behind the camera.

Rohan Bhupatiraju

Rohan is 19 years old, enjoying life and all the opportunities that come along. He wants to learn about accessibility and help make websites usable for various groups of people with and without disabilities. He is learning new skills in the accessibility field with the help of his mentor Gayatri from The Accidental Ally. He is also working towards the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) exam this summer 2022. Rohan is also learning Spanish and gets super excited to engage in conversations with others in Spanish. Rohan helps his friends with math tutoring weekly. He enjoys sports and participated in Special Olympics Basketball and Softball for several years.

Dashiell in a floral shirt and grey blazer leaning against a wall.

Dashiell Meier

Dashiell Meier, 18, is a high school student, talk show host, and aspiring filmmaker. An award-winning disability rights activist, Dashiell has been a public speaker since elementary school, educating his audiences about Down syndrome and its history as well as that of the disability rights movement.  He has spoken to members of Congress in Washington, D.C. to advocate for changes in legislation as a National Down Syndrome Society Ambassador.

A trained Special Olympics athlete-leader, Dashiell is active with several other local, state and national disability rights organizations. In addition to writing stories, screenplays and comics, Dashiell has a YouTube talk show, Playing Favorites, which features positive, in-depth celebrity interviews. He is passionate about becoming a filmmaker so he can share the stories of people with Down syndrome and other disabilities with the world. Learn more about Dashiell at www.100YardDashiell.com.

Roan Purpura-Pontoniere

Roan Purpura-Pontoniere

Roan is an 18-year-old student at Merritt College in Oakland. He got an A in his first college class last semester! Roan interned last summer with The Accidental Ally, a Palo Alto-based startup that seeks to increase diversity in Silicon Valley through authentic inclusion of people with disabilities. He enjoys horseback riding, swimming, video gaming, and cooking, and performs with the Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network taiko group. Roan works as an assistant to music therapist Jessica Wood. He wants to leverage his love of cooking to help people with disabilities to make healthy food choices.

Madison seated at her desk with a laptop open and smiling at the camera

Madison Turner

Madison Turner is a Senior at Branham High school. She is a very outgoing person who loves to surround herself with family and friends. When she is not on stage acting, you will probably see her dancing at a dance party! Madison has her own unique style and is not afraid to embrace all of who she is. Madison has spent almost 14 years as an actor with Angels on Stage, performing as the lead in many musicals. She was a summer intern with The Accidental Ally in 2021. She is also a trained swimmer for the Special Olympics. She has been working as an assistant at the Santa Clara Swim School for the past 3 years. She is also a performer with the Silicon Valley Down syndrome network Taiko drumming group.

Laith Omran

Laith Omran

Laith graduated from high school in 2018. He enjoys writing stories, drawing, cooking, voice acting, gaming, sea shanties and helping others. He hopes to be an animator and is attending film school that is teaching me about the entire film industry. 

I am looking forward to beginning my summer internship with Accidental Ally because I want to improve the representation of people with special needs in the workforce. I also look forward to meeting new people and learning new skills.

A portrait photo of Sabrina. She is wearing a black, sleeveless blouse and sitting on her wheelchair.

Sabrina London

Sabrina is a very special girl. She was a preemie baby, born too soon at 26 weeks gestation. Due to her early birth, she has Cerebral Palsy. However, Sabrina believes that this does not hinder her ability to reach for the stars.

Sabrina loves technology, socializing, and travelling. She loves to engage in conversations, and uses an AAC (Assisted Augmentative Communication) device that helps her speak.

A portrait photo of Paola. She is wearing a knitted grey, sleeveless blouse.

Paola Blanco​

Paola is a WordPress website designer and a small business owner passionate about making things more accessible in-person and online. She loves cooking, crafts and travel and is a wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy.

Summer Interns 2021

Karmishtha Krishna

Karmishtha Krishna

“The way we treat disability is largely affected by the isolation of it as a separate entity. I truly believe that it is mindfulness around accessibility that can help break the silo and bridge existing gaps.

We live in a world where words like inclusivity are often spoken of, but seldom executed. The strong core values The Accidental Ally stands for makes me want to challenge my creative capabilities – to be more thoughtful, empathetic, and truly human centered in my design approach.”

Sanjay Thinagar

Sanjay Thinagar

“I believe usability, inclusivity and empathy are the foundations of good design. My goal has always been to design products that are strong in these factors. Even small changes can go a big way into making the world more accessible. 

 I’m very excited to work with The Accidental Ally as it is a great opportunity to be a part of a team that is very passionate about accessibility, and to learn more about it along the way.”