Students’ Stories – what our students accomplish

Matthew Valente – bringing #ActuallyAutistic poetry to life

Matthew has been working with Accessible Academics since fall 2020 to complete online courses at SUNY Erie and publish animated poems on endangered and misunderstood animals. He is working with our professional animator, Cote Zellers, to bring his poetry to life.  Matthew has been featured on The Art of Autism’s website for his #ActuallyAutistic animated poetry.

My name is Matthew Elijah Valente. I am an autistic poet. I am a graduate of Lower Merion High School in suburban Philadelphia, PA, where I founded a scholarship for disabled students.  I am currently studying Liberal Arts at Erie County Community College, Buffalo, NY.  I was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder at the age of three. Animals have been my life-long passion. I have visited over 50 zoos and aquaria in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas. My numerous poems and film reviews advocate for animal rights. A number of my poems have been animated and can be found on my Youtube Channel at

Matthew’s YouTube Channel Trailer

Hear what some of our families say

We are extremely grateful for all of the wonderful feedback we have received below.

I first met Anne Showers prior to the formation of Accessible Academics, and received substantial training and support services from her during that time period. Later on in my academic career, when I was in need of an internship to complete my BS in Information Sciences and Technology, I contacted Anne again. It wasn’t long until I was travelling to University at Buffalo to complete my internship in user experience development. Accessible Academics was there to support and guide me every step of the way.

My internship experience was my first true test of my independent living skills as a young adult with Asperger Syndrome. Accessible Academics assisted not only with my work and study habit development, but with training in household management and stress management.

I am happy to say that, thanks in large part to the support provided by Anne Showers and Accessible Academics, I completed my degree and am now gainfully employed in the field of Information Technology for one of the world’s largest business-to-business finance organizations. I am excited for Accessible Academics as it moves forward in the nonprofit sector and provides support services for an increasing number of young adults in need. I have the utmost faith that, with hard work and dedication, they too will succeed academically and in life itself.

Josh, Student

Our daughter couldn’t have been so successful in college at ECC without the help, guidance, and support of Accessible Academics. The program goes well beyond academics and has helped our daughter to be more confident and secure. This service is extremely important and valuable for families with children who have LD, ADHD, and ASD. Accessible Academics’ services is a Godsend.”

David, Parent

I can’t thank you enough for the services you provide for my son and the many others.

Susan, Parent

My son, Eric will not been stay in school if wasn’t for Accessible Academics’ dedication. They went above and beyond for my son.

Patty, Parent

My wife and I have had the pleasure of working with Accessible Academics. They have been able to make some significant strides and behavioral changes with our son, a student at Erie Community College. In a nutshell, Accessible Academics has done what they said they would do and has an excellent track record with our son. He liked his Coach very much and has had a fruitful working relationship with her. Our experience shows that Accessible Academics gets results-well worth the time and money. We recommend them without reservation.

Linke and Penelope, Parents