Yudi Bennett is a passionate advocate for all those with special needs, especially young adults with autism. She is the co-founder and past director of Exceptional Minds, an innovative visual effects and animation school and studio for artists on the Autism Spectrum.
Yudi comes from the motion picture world. She has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1978 and received their Frank Capra Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. She is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with credits in over 30 movies, including “Broadcast News” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Yudi is the co-founder and past president of Foothill Autism Alliance and currently serves on the FAA board. She has also served on the board of the Uniquely Abled Project, a vocational program that trains adults with autism to work in manufacturing.
Yudi is inspired everyday by her son, Noah Schneider, a young animator who was diagnosed with ASD in 1997. She is fond of quoting Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Her dream is to see all young adults with autism in meaningful jobs, leading independent and productive lives.