Formed in the Spring of 2016, Voices of Autism is focused on providing the Pacific Autism Family Network insight and input from the perspective of self-identifying individuals. Composed of a small group of advisors and one chair, Voices of Autism elects self-identifying individuals to provide input on communications, design and artwork, stakeholder engagement, program development, and event hosting. Voices of Autism was responsible for informing the PAFN on design elements of the Centre including murals, decals and signage as well as programs and stakeholder engagement. There are three options for involvement with the VOA.
- Voices. Voices are members of the VOA. Voices are the heart of what we do. We can’t make change without knowing what needs to change. Voices are encouraged to network with each other, Ambassadors and Advisors. Voices will be offered volunteer opportunities and chances to meet Allies to help create positive change in their communities. What do you want to see happen in your community, province and nationally? Together we can work to make progress for ourselves and each other!
- Ambassadors. Voices have opportunities to be interviewed for social media, volunteer at VOA events, create group projects, create community events and much more.
- Allies. Allies are those folks who love someone on the spectrum but don’t have autism themselves. Allies can be anyone who loves you or wants to support you. Our allies are here for our Voices and to help us further reduce the gap between what we need and what type of support we are given. Allies can also be friends, teachers, first responders, librarians, custodians, postal service workers, and more including, of course, family.
Meet the team
SF Walker is the Manager of the Voices of Autism (VOA), a group created to advise the Pacific Autism Family Network, since 2016. SF has an extensive teaching background teaching to students of all ages and skill levels. SF is the Operations Ninja at AIDE Canada and is part of this national initiative creating access to services for families across the country.
The Voices of Autism has been an integral part of the Pacific Autism Family Network helping to define goals, advise on building/program design and creating opportunities for people to come together both professionally, as in our speaker series, and personally with our events.
Within the VOA, SF has a team of 10 Advisors from across British Columbia, helping to define and determine best methods for affecting positive change in our communities. SF enjoys working with other people with ASD for their perspective and working with a team of peers. As a person who has autism SF is extremely proud to work with such brilliant minds.
When not in the office, SF can be found writing and playing music, creating new recipes or zoning out with her cat/favourite being, Ryder who she adopted in Springfield, Missouri during her time in University. SF attended Tallahassee Community College and Missouri State University and loves to travel and try new experiences.
Erin Boe is a Richmond advisor for the Voices of Autism (VOA), a group created to advise the Pacific Autism Family Network, since its start in 2016.
Erin is proud to claim she has been a member since its creation and played a part in the PAFN’s design of its main hub location in her hometown of Richmond. Her favourite parts of the building’s design are the different colours for each floor, the sign decals, and the skylight mobile. Her most absolute favourite, however, would be the airplane mural by the café, which has now been replicated in each of the current spoke locations. Another accomplishment Erin’s proud of was being an Ambassador for BC Easter Seals, and after sharing her experience with the organization, was one of 7,000 Medal Bearers in Rick Hansen’s 25th Anniversary Relay in 2012.
Within the VOA, Erin is one of 10 advisors from across British Columbia, who strive to help to define and determine best methods to hep create positive impact in our local communities. Erin likes working with others who identify with ASD, bouncing ideas and sharing thoughts and experiences. She enjoys the camaraderie of being amongst others who may have gone through similar experiences as her and hopes to continue creating change and feel an achievement in reaching that goal.
When not working as an advisor, Erin also works part-time at the PAFN Richmond Hub as a Representative, a front desk customer service-like position, since spring 2019. Erin has a second part-time job with the video game company EB Games in its Richmond Centre location since fall 2019. She likes the fact the company and her share the same initials. Erin graduated from Langara College with a Journalism diploma in 2015. Her hobbies include surfing the internet, reading novels and singing. She also is a fan of Japanese manga and anime. Erin has a love affair with choirs, having been in one off-and-on throughout her life, and is currently a member of the Sing City Show Choir in Vancouver. Erin loves her two cats Mia and Siri.
Adrian Cheng is a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia. Diagnosed as autistic in high school, he is keenly aware of the unique challenges and costs that being different can have on an individual’s life. These challenges result from systemic structures which will require a lot of coordination to change. As such he is passionate about drawing upon his experience, knowledge and feelings to make society a more forgiving place for his neurodiverse peers.
In university, Adrian had the luck of encountering a graduating Autistic by the name of Andrew. Andrew offered him a space in the old student Union Building. Using this chance, Adrian was able to ensure that this space was eventually transformed into a club by the name of Neurodiverse Pathfinders. Pathfinders became a community building space for neurodiverse students. When plans were being made in the New Student Union Building, Pathfinders was able to secure a space with sensory adaptations geared towards providing a semblance of comfort for the community, especially in times of stress.
Lucas Gates is a proud advocate, helping those with autism and making the community even stronger. Lucas is a born-and-raised third-generation Vancouverite and is proud to live in a city and province that makes diversity even stronger, and plans on staying here for the long-haul.
Lucas works for the Pacific Autism Family Network as a front desk representative and represents as an Ambassador during special events to help promote our autistic community. Lucas also works in retail for Canucks Sports & Entertainment (yes, that’s the NHL Vancouver Canucks) in which Lucas helps fans and spectators with finding that particular item they hope to get. If you happened to see Lucas at Rogers Arena, don’t hesitate to say hi, he’s very friendly and loves working in a fast-paced environment and learning the tricks of working within a pro sports organization!
Lucas’s position with the Voices of Autism is Community Liaison and VOA advisor. In his work with the Voices of Autism Lucas has played a key role in community outreach. Lucas in his spare time, enjoys taking time to the fullest by enjoying Vancouver weather, plays video games either privately or streaming and just generally enjoys life!
Rebekah Kintzinger is a mentor for autistic members of her community in Kelowna, BC, working with those who have specific needs or goals, and range from child to adult. As well as being on the board of directors for the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance, she is also an Okanagan Advisor for the Pacific Family Autism Network’s Voices of Autism program.
She also offers her time as a volunteer in a literacy program and with a community Christmas hamper program to keep her busy. She once helped to organize a rally for teachers, and her speech at the rally was posted on YouTube in addition to being in a Vancouver Sun article.
Rebekah continues to be passionate about the needs of others, and is very focused on the positive outcomes of a National Autism Strategy. She raises awareness in her community and through social media with her published writings and radio pieces from her own experiences being autistic.
Rebekah is very creative, and aside from loving to draw and write she also appreciates cooking for her two boys, and acting out scenes from Monty Python with them.
Evan Noble is an advisor from Kelowna. More info coming soon…
Nicole Provost is an Advisor in the Fraser Valley. More info coming soon…
Irina-Maria Radacina is an Advisor at the main PAFN Hub in Richmond, BC. More info coming soon…
Joshua Scheller is a representative of the Pacific Autism Family Network. Josh can be found running reception like a pro. As well as learning about himself and his journey, Josh is an advisor for the Voices of Autism. Josh has many talents but he’s our resident Dad-jokes guy.
Joshua has been an active member of the Voices of Autism for 3 years and has been creating and delivering public workshops and presentations as well as running booths and tables at events. Josh has presented to groups of up to 200 people and engages people in conversation with wit and a cheeky grin.
Josh has a companion, Wabi, who is his support dog. Wabi is a big part of our team as well. He’s not so big on contributing to our conversations but it’s nice to have him there for moral support.
Kayla Tellier is a Voices of Autism Advisor in Surrey, BC.
Kayla has been a member of the Voices of Autism for over 2 years. Kayla brings positive energy to every interaction. Outside of the Voices of Autism, Kayla is quite involved in the community; she creates and delivers acting classes and workshops with Autism BC and the Canucks Autism Network. Kayla is also on the Canucks Autism Network Training Team. Kayla participated in the Pacific Autism Family Network police training videos.
Other passions for Kayla include acting, writing, filming and does a lot of work with small screen productions. Kayla can be seen in some of your favourite tv shows. Which ones? You’ll have to visit to find out.
Kayla is a self-advocate that also provides support and advocacy for her bother. Kayla loves to LARP. Her sense of style is amazing and she has such a warm heart. Kayla is a dedicated member of the Voices of Autism and we love having her on our team!