Nicholas D’ Amora
January 29, 1998 – May 15, 2023
Nick D’Amora had autism. He was a nonspeaker until the age of 12, when he broke through the silence and began to communicate using RPM with Soma Mukhopadhyay. Nick loved cooking, listening to music, going to concerts, dancing and playing various board games with his friends. Nick’s friendships were legion, he had many, many friends, both neurodivergent and neurotypical.
As a young teenager, Nick quickly decided to step up and into the public eye to speak his truth – that he was a nonspeaker, but not a nonthinker. That he was capable and competent.
Nick, with his mother Barbara D’Amora, and his communication partner Susanne Cannella bravely put himself out there as a public speller, advocating with the Board of Education, the Grace Foundation, and parent groups for nonspeaking autistics.
Nick and his mother, Barbara D’Amora, did the very heavy lifting before the lights came on, before books were written, before the word and the experience of spelling had reached other parents and nonspeakers. Much is owed to him because he brought spelling to the lives of many, many nonspeakers.
Three of them – Cristofer Puleo, Tejas Rao Sankar and William Jusino – became fluent spellers because of him. They, along with Nick D’Amora, advocated to start Crimsonrise.
CrimsonRise is co-founded by Spellers and is designed with the creed of the Autism community. ‘Nothing about us without us’. Much is owed to Nick D’Amora, who was the catalyst to so much change that countless people are now benefiting from. Nick The Changer. We are honored that Nick’s legacy lives on in CrimsonRise.
Nick’s story has been covered in many news specials and he has received multiple honors.
- Staten Island Advance Most Influential Person
- Grace Foundation Honoree
- On Your Mark Honoree
- I-ASC Nick D’Amora Board Blazer Award – An annual award I-ASC gives to influential spellers in the spellerverse
- Nicky’s Kitchen, Grace Foundation
- The Nick D’Amora Center for Spelling and Advocacy, CrimsonRise
He was a contributing author to Leaders Around Me: Autobiographies of Autistics who Type, Print and Spell to Communicate, Edited by Edlyn Pena.