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Pacific Autism Family Network

February 2018 Newsletter

Updates from the GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub

GO Group Behind the Lens

GO Group conducting interviews at our Main Hub in Richmond

The Pacific Autism Family Network has been getting behind the camera with our latest collaboration with See Together Media. Our GO Group employees have had the opportunity to gain some interesting work experience and learn the key skills of video production!

Brandon Siemens, Head of Video Production at See Together Media, has been working with our Go Group employees at our Main Hub, and various shoot locations, to teach them to create compelling videos including conducting interviews, understanding the equipment and getting familiar with the importance of light and sound. They’ve made their way to locations around the Vancouver and Richmond area including SAP, NFT Riding Association, Century Plaza Hotel & Spa, Pacific Gateway Hotel, Vancouver Aquarium and the Vancity Richmond Community Branch. Throughout this experience, they have been working towards creating a promotional video for EmploymentWorks and we’re so excited to see the finished piece!

This project was spearheaded through our GO Group Employment Initiative which provides short-term paid employment for individuals on the Autism Spectrum, or other related disorders. The initiative was designed to address the gap in employment services for young adults to provide the opportunity for individuals that are new or returning to work to build their resume in a real and meaningful way. We believe in inclusive hiring and we are delighted that we can help to create these opportunities for individuals with diverse abilities to learn new skills in various working environments.

Click Here to learn more about Go Group!

Stamping out Stigma!

Andrea Paquette, Stigma-Free Society & Lucas Gates, PAFN

The Pacific Autism Family Network is proud to announce that we are the first Charity in Canada to work towards designating our main Hub in Richmond as a Stigma-Free Zone. The Stigma-Free Society launched the Stigma-Free Zone movement in 2017 and they are working with schools, businesses, organizations and political leaders to create spaces that cultivate a Stigma-Free environment.

The GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub is adopting the Stigma-Free Zone criteria and some of these activities include: educational presentations, branding the Hub’s space with decals and posters, encouraging the Stigma-Free Test and Stigma-Free Pledge, forming a group of Stigma-Free Champions and conducting ongoing activities throughout the next year related to the goals of the movement.

These are exciting times at the PAFN Hub as we work toward the Stigma-Free Zone designation over the next year to inspire people to commit to the awareness and understanding of various stigmas while maintaining safe spaces where people are accepting of themselves and others.

Andrea Paquette, President of the Stigma-Free Society and Lucas Gates, Ambassador at PAFN, will be partnering to deliver an educational presentation on stigma to families of PAFN in March 2018. If you wish to attend this educational session, please click the link below to reserve your spot!

Click to RSVP

Jack McGee Honoured as Canada’s Unsung Hero!

We were delighted to attend a ceremony with Dr. Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament, to celebrate the “Unsung Heroes” in our community. Individuals were honoured for their commitment to volunteering throughout their lifetime and for going above and beyond in their contributions to Canada. We’re thrilled to share that one of the few award recipients was our Board Treasurer for PAFN’s Foundation, Jack McGee. Dr. Hedy Fry commended Jack for his hard work by awarding him with the “Canada 150” Pin for being a true “Unsung Hero” in our community.

Jack, who is the former President of the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) and served in the Canadian Forces, has been PAFN’s longest standing board member. He has been instrumental on so many fronts, specifically with our First Responder Autism Awareness Initiative in British Columbia. Jack has dedicated much of his time to improving the lives of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and has worked tirelessly to ensure First Responders are trained and educated on the challenges that are presented with ASD. We are truly thankful for his leadership and experience!
Congratulations, Jack!

 Paper Planes Cafe Re-Opening!

After a brief hiatus, we’re pleased to announce that our Paper Planes Cafe will be re-opening again on Tuesday, February 13!

Joining the team is Tegan Rodriguez, our new Paper Planes Cafe Supervisor. We’re also thrilled to have Joyce Lin join us as our Employment Specialist. Joyce will be working closely with Tegan as they support our GO Group employees through their cafe training in learning new skills with on-the-job experience at our Cafe!

Follow Paper Planes on Instagram


Come on down to the GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub in Richmond on Saturday, March 3 to celebrate Sharing Smiles Day 2018!

Hosted by the UBC Division of Oral Health Total Health, Sharing Smiles Day is brought to you by a group of dental students committed to breaking down barriers between the dental community and individuals with special needs for a day that is sure to make new friends and memories! A day of fun and games all around and suitable for all the family!

Last chance to register so make sure you RSVP today!

Click Here to Register!

Siblings of People with Autism:
Unique Concerns & Opportunities

Get your Tickets Soon for the Sibling Support Presentation with Don Meyer on Saturday, May 26.

Don Meyer is an influential speaker and author and is also the creator of innovative programs for families of people with special needs. As the award-winning director of the Sibling Support Project, Don has extensive experience and a wealth of knowledge to share with families and has presented on issues facing families of people with special needs all over the world.

If you are:
1. An adult sibling with a brother or sister who has autism
2. Parent(s) of a child who is a sibling of a person with autism
Then this event would be perfect for you!

The day will be broken down into:
1. Presentations
2. A panel of siblings who have the opportunity to discuss their unique concerns
3. A Q&A session

9:00am – 3:30pm
Lunch Included
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Auditorium at the GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub, 3688 Cessna Drive, Richmond

This presentation is geared towards adults and will look at the needs of siblings of people with autism over their lifetime and how to navigate resources to best support their brother or sister with special needs.

Sibling relationships are often the longest lasting for an individual with autism and supports for siblings are critical; Don will focus on this element throughout his presentation. We are very thrilled to welcome Don in May!

There are still 3 spots available for a sibling of a brother or sister with autism to become a panellist.
Would you like to share your story?
To discuss this opportunity, contact Andrea Sharpe: andrea@andreasharpeconsulting.ca

Get Your Tickets Here!

Check out this video with Don Meyer from the Sibling Support Project!

Happy Valentine’s Day
from the Pacific Autism Family Network!

We wanted to share the love this February to say Happy Valentine’s Day to our PAFN Family! Since the official grand opening of our Main Hub in 2016, we have been so thankful for your continued support!

The Centre would not be where it is today without all of you!

The Pacific Autism Family Network still needs your support to help build a brighter future for our families and their loved ones.

How your contribution can make a difference:

$25 can fund sensory friendly toys for our Spoke locations opening Spring 2018

$50 can fund vital resources needed for the libraries in our Spoke locations

$100 can support much-needed social clubs at our Main Hub, allowing our PAFN members to build confidence and make friends

Donate Today

Copyright © Pacific Autism Family Network 2018

Our mailing address is:
3688 Cessna Drive
Richmond BC
V7B 1C7

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