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Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization founded to respond to the needs of low-income and poor families struggling with raising a child or adult with developmental disabilities, particularly as it relates to autism. Donna Ross Jones, CEO of Transition Music and Areva D. Martin, Esq., Managing Partner of Martin & Martin, LLP co-founded the organization after their respective sons were diagnosed with autism. Areva serves as President and Chair of the Board of Directors of the organization.


Special Needs Network’s mission is to raise public awareness of developmental disabilities and to impact public policy, while providing education and resources to families, children and adults. SNN serves as a link between underserved communities and mainstream developmental disability organizations and governmental institutions, which often fail to address issues specific to these communities.


Since its inception three years ago, the organization has provided resources and services to more than 15,000 low income families through its various family-centered outreach programs, advocacy and skills training workshops, mentoring activities, and town hall meetings. The organization’s work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Journal, the Dr. Phil Show and in 2008, Areva was named one of 10 women changing the face of autism by Red Book Magazine.


COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: A BACK-TO-SCHOOL INCLUSION EVENT - This program unites special needs families with families of typically-developing children, vested community partners and local civic leaders for a day of education, information and rejuvenation. SNN provides free backpacks and other school supplies to hundreds of children ages 3-18 years of age. Resource booths keep families updated on available services in the community; and therapists trained in encouraging inclusive play facilitate specially designed games for the children. Activities are geared to facilitate social interaction, language development and acquisition of new skills. This event includes a massive health fair with free dental and medical screenings for children and health seminars for adults.

TOOLS FOR TRANSFORMATION - This conference brings together top experts from around the nation to provide information and workshops on topics ranging from advocacy to employment opportunities for parents of disabled children. The conference begins with a breakfast and offers nine interactive workshops facilitated by experienced professionals. Participants are given handouts, brochures and other pertinent information. The conference includes a massive resource fair where participants can meet service providers, authors, doctors, therapists, advocates and other professionals who work in the disability community. This one of a kind conference is free and open to the public. All day free childcare is provided along with transportation stipends to allow maximum parent participation.

LEARNING ACADEMY - This program is geared for students ages 3 to 22. Those students under 14 years old are provided an opportunity to participate in developmentally appropriate learning labs for art, music, dance, sports and cooking. For students age 14 to 22, the focus is on entrepreneurial and life skills training. Students learn how to develop ideals into money-making ventures, how to budget their income, how to seek and obtain employment and other valuable life skills.


Our newly elected president, Barack Obama, has already pledged to increase federal funding for autism research, treatment, screenings and public awareness and support services to ONE BILLION dollars – annually! And in his home state of Illinois, he recently passed legislation mandating that insurance companies cover autism therapies.

I know that in the months ahead –– all of America, and perhaps the world, will hear words that inspire all of us to action, to leadership. We, whose plates are already full, will all be called upon to search for even more ways to contribute, to heal and to unite as equal citizens of a global village.


Cure Autism Now!


Areva D. Martin, a Harvard-trained trial attorney and established entrepreneur with over 20 years of solid business experience, and Donna, an experienced music executive, initially found it incredibly difficult to access services for their sons. As a result of their own experiences, they were sensitized to the enormous challenges faced by families in low-income and poor communities, particularly South and South Central Los Angeles. After years of successfully working their way through the bureaucratic maze, they decided to pool her resources and expertise to assist the state’s most vulnerable families.


Areva D. Martin, Esq.
Chairperson & President

Clarence Harris, CPA

Sonjia D. White, Esq.

Jan Davis
Annette Hollomon
Kevin McCarthy
Andrew Yellen, Ph.D.


Lee Bailey
Dave Clark
Ruth Creary, Ph.D.
Rev. Vanessa Dantzler
Pat Grayson De-Jong
Elizabeth Koo Edwards, Ph.D.
B.J. Freeman, Ph.D.
Cheryl Gully, LCSW
Bonnie Berry Lamon, Esq.
Prudence Baird-Metcalf
Rev. Cecil L. Murray
Seth Weisbord, Esq.


United States




2900 W Vernon Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90008-4757
Phone: (213) 389-7100
EIN: 05-0617904

A Gift Card


Back to School

Bag & School Supplies

Your gift will provide one special needs child a complete set of back to school supplies, a sturdy backpack and a pair of running shoes to make him/her ready for a new school year!


SNN Tool Kit

Must Have for Parents

A toolkit filled toys and a workbook that guides parents on how to maximize the potential of their children through different activities.


Hour of Advocacy

Advocacy Training

Your gift will help provide policy and organizational advocacy training to parent leaders. Participants are provided an opportunity to meet face-to-face with those leaders who are shaping policies which impact them, their loved ones and their communities. After a series of presentations, participants are given an opportunity to ask questions and to provide comments. This event provides an opportunity to engage their elected officials and...