Inclusion Festival and our year-round inclusion programs are initiatives of Accessible Festivals, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making music and recreation accessible to all people.
Inclusion Festival was co-founded in 2017 by Amy Pinder and Leah Barron. Amy and Leah met at a music festival in 2014, where they realized they shared the same passion and vision of creating a festival that welcomed people of all abilities. A few years later, another festival brought them together as they found themselves serendipitously camped next to one another and spent the weekend discussing how to turn their dream into a reality.
Accessible Festivals was co-founded in 2014 by Austin Whitney and Oren Shani. Six months after a car accident that left Austin paralyzed from the waist down, he attended a music festival that left him feeling joy and hope for the first time since his spinal cord injury. He joined forces with his friend Oren and decided to dedicate his life to helping others have the same positive and transformation experience.
Each of our inclusion programs celebrate the value of all abilities through music, art, nature, movement, and more— with a goal of shifting culture at other community events and spaces so inclusiveness and accessibility become the norm.
Amy Pinder, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Amy Pinder, MA, CCC-SLP is the co-founder and Executive Director of Inclusion Festival and the Executive Director of Accessible Festivals. She is a yogi, hula hooper, arts enthusiast, and speech-language therapist with over fifteen years of experience working with individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental differences. As a therapist, Amy incorporates joyful, regulatory, and play-based movement such as yoga, juggling, and hula hooping. These activities encourage clients to engage, explore, increase capacities, and effectively communicate through meaningful, experienced-based activities that promote mindfulness, encourage creativity, and improve overall wellbeing. She is also the Founder and Owner of Circles of Communication, a private practice that offers integrative speech-language therapy and alternative education programs in Central New Jersey.
Leah Barron, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Leah Barron, MAT, RYT 200 is the co-founder and Executive Director of Inclusion Festival and the Associate Director of Accessible Festivals. She is a mother, music lover, special education teacher, and registered yoga teacher who has experience working in a variety of settings including schools, private studios, and home-based instruction. She is passionate about sharing the benefits of yoga with individuals of all ages and abilities. She is creative, intuitive and able to easily connect with others by recognizing their individual talents, tuning into their passions and interests, and guiding them to increase their capacities using a warm, accessible person-centered approach. Previously, Leah co-founded My Best Fest, an online music festival guide, which led her to on-site festival consulting and program coordinating.
Max Papperman, Director of Operations
Max Papperman is the Director of Operations for Inclusion Festival. He is also an environmental consultant, soccer player, and music enthusiast. Previously, he was a special education teacher. Max has attended numerous music festivals, working as a volunteer, educator, and staff member. He excels at communicating with a variety of individuals and bringing them together to work towards a common goal. He is responsible for overseeing Inclusion Festival’s year-round initiatives, advising on budgets and financial plans, and managing staff and volunteers.
Samuel Huber, Director of InclusionTube
Sam was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 14. Rather than blame Aspergers for any difficulties that he has encountered, Sam made it his mission to use what he has learned to help others on the spectrum. Since graduating in 2012 with a degree in Psychology, Sam has worked with people on the Autism Spectrum in both a school setting as well as a crisis center. Currently, he is working on a book that is about autism, self-love, and romantic relationships. He created and manages the official YouTube of Inclusion Festival, InclusionTube, where he interviews Inclusion Festival participants about their work, perspectives, festival experiences, and understanding of inclusion. Sam also hosts other shows on his personal channel including Heroes of Autism and Adulting While on then Spectrum.
Henry Gorski, Social Media Contributor
Henry has mild Cerebral Palsy due to a brain injury at birth. He is a very social person who enjoys meeting new people. He is a sports and music enthusiast who enjoys all genres, especially Country, Pop, Rap, Rock, and Alternative. Over the past several years, one of his biggest passions has been discovering and networking with rising music artists. He is proud to have met personal favorites like Lindsay Ell and Jessie Leigh. His work with music festivals began many years ago when he administered surveys to patrons with My Best Fest.
Assorted Studios is the production partner for Inclusion Festival. They offer full-service audio/video production , both in-studio and on-location for bands, rappers, singers, musicians, and voice-over artists. Assorted Studios has experience shooting full-season TV series to cinematic productions, as well as TV commercials and numerous music videos. With multiple workstations loaded with Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Abelton Live, as well as a huge variety of premium plugins, they are fully prepared to bring your vision to reality!