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Self-Advocate Advisory Committee (SAAC)

The Pathfinders for Autism Self-Advocate Advisory Committee (SAAC) was formed in 2017 to establish a framework for consistent guidance and support to our self-advocate trainers (individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities – I/DD) for our First Responder and Healthcare training programs. Our goals included:

  • Review Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), job description and Professional Code of Conduct
  • Seek feedback from self-advocates (SA) on the training process and content
  • Develop and expand opportunities for SA trainers to co-instruct classes
  • Identify interest in learning additional curricula, e.g., law enforcement, healthcare
  • Provide feedback and direction to improve presentation skills
  • Allow for SA trainers to learn from peers and foster social opportunities

In 2019, current members of the SAAC were asked to expand their role on the committee to include the planning and participation in larger scale recreation events for adults with I/DD. We recruited other self-advocates as well as college students and members of the business community to serve as peer mentors for work on a specific Recreation Project.

It is our intent to maintain a strong SAAC to provide guidance to the Pathfinders for Autism Program Staff in planning events for adults and supporting adults through the discovery of resources and information specific to their needs. Our expanded goals include:

  • Explore interests of SAs to participate in community resource fairs, authoring/co-authoring PFA Tips on relevant topics for adults (as determined by the SAAC)
  • Encourage input on website and directory resources through discussion and review of adult oriented sections, e.g., Autism by Age Checklists 18 to 21 and Over 21.
  • Consider subgroups as appropriate on grant-based projects focusing on housing, employment, etc.

The SAAC will evolve as needed and as directed by the committee. Pathfinders for Autism staff will provide guidance and support.

Membership on the SAAC is by invitation and member referral only. Guests are welcome to attend the meetings and participate in planned recreational activities for adults.

For more information, contact Trish Kane, Deputy Director,


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