Category Archives: Office news

ACT’s E.D. awarded Distinguished Service Award by BCASLPA

On October 21, Deborah Pugh, ACT’s Executive Director, was awarded the 2016 BCASLPA Distinguished Service Award for individuals who are not speech‐language pathologists or audiologists but who have made outstanding contributions to the professions and/or the communities they serve, in recognition for her “passion and advocacy for children and adults living with ASD.”

Deborah Pugh receiving award

Deborah Pugh receiving award from Nathan Hoffart, Julia Hodder (left) and Kate Chase from the BC Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

Job Posting: Executive Director for ACT

ACT – Autism Community Training is searching for a new leader to take over the position of Executive Director of this dynamic organization in January 2017. This is a full-time position, based either in Burnaby or Richmond, British Columbia.


The primary purpose of the Executive Director’s role is to ensure that ACT continuously anticipates and responds to the needs of families and professionals to understand the nature and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder through the provision of quality information and training. The work of the E.D. includes ensuring that the organization’s staff maintains a high degree of expertise, commitment and personal ethics, that the organization is managed in a fiscally responsible manner, that it is represented in the community as having a high degree of expertise and ethical standards and that all community stakeholders are aware of ACT, its services, the issues it is attempting to address and the ways in which it can be of service to them.


  1. Communicating ACT’s vision to the autism community, government and the media
  2. Working with ACT’s Board of Directors to refine and implement strategic and operational goals
  3. Promoting ACT’s role as a leading provider of excellent training in autism-related topics
  4. Leading ACT’s staffing, recruitment & retention strategy
  5. Ensuring ACT’s financial management & and independence through revenue diversification
  6. Supporting the development of ACT as a technologically advanced organization


Education & Experience

  • Master’s Degree in a relevant discipline
  • Experience working in the not-for-profit sector providing services to a special needs group ideal
  • Experience in a leadership role
  • Experience working with government ministries
  • Experience seeking funding sources and raising funds
  • Budgeting experience

Skills & Characteristics

  • A passion for serving families and people with developmental disabilities
  • Ability to work with complex individuals
  • Ability to work with complex bureaucracies
  • Ability to work with diverse groups to develop consensus.
  • Collaborative, patience, diplomacy and respect for differing points of view
  • Ability to motivate and align others to a vision
  • Strong strategic thinking ability

About ACT – Autism Community Training

  • ACT provides non-commercial, evidence-based information and training on ASD to parents and professionals – the most comprehensive community-level autism information service in Canada;
  • ACT’s information and support work is funded by B.C.’s Ministry for Children and Family Development and by individual donors and sponsors;
  • ACT’s services support individuals with autism to live productive, satisfying lives within their communities, ensuring that families and professionals, wherever they live in B.C. have access to:
  • ACT hosted 26 live events in 2015, supported through registration fees and sponsorship;
  • ACT is a registered charity; charitable tax number is #861691236RR0001.

The deadline for applications is Monday, November 21, 2016, 4 pm
Please send all resume and covering letter by email: Attention ED Search Committee

Download ACT Executive Director brief job description

Graphic Designer – contract position

ACT is coordinating the translation of the Ministry of Children and Family Development “A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to the Autism Program” into eight languages (The Handbook can be viewed online at   The Handbook is an important information tool for parents that describes how the provincial Autism Program works.

This contract position would work with ACT staff and the individual translators to take the translated text and create documents in InDesign, appropriate for printing and downloading. It would be suitable for someone who has previous experience in designing multi-page documents such as annual reports, and preferably someone who has worked in other languages. All content will be supplied to the designer.

ACT – Autism Community Training (ACT) is a registered not for profit society that provides information and referral services to families of children with Autism Spectrum disorders as well as to para-professionals and professionals.  Our mission is to provide excellent information and training, in accordance with international best practices. Our goal is to enable parents, professionals and para-professionals to support children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder to live productive, satisfying lives within their families and communities.

Position Requirements

  • Experience using InDesign
  • Experience in designing annual reports, guides and manuals
  • Experience doing design work in languages other than English is desireable


Post-secondary diploma or degree in related area

Payment and Delivery schedule:

Will be negotiated and outlined in a contract

This position is available immediately.  The designer is expected to work off site and must have the appropriate technologies to complete the work.  In person meetings may be required to discuss design and delivery.  Project completed expected to be Spring 2017.

Please send your cover letter, resume and a sample of your work to:

ACT-Autism Community Training E-Mail to:

We thank all applicants; however, only those who are selected for an interview will be contacted.


Seeking New Members for ACT’s Board of Directors: apply before May 9th

ACT – Autism Community Training is the primary source for objective information and support on autism in B.C. A not-for-profit society led by a Board of Directors, ACT is seeking three new board members in time for our AGM on May 31st. This year we are keen to identify candidates who understand the diverse concerns of families raising children with autism from the perspective of parents, siblings or other members of the extended family, as well as having professional expertise.

ACT’s Board is a governance board and does not involve itself in daily operations. Board members are called upon to provide the board with professional advice. Currently we would like to augment the considerable strength of ACT’s Board in the areas of human resources, media relations, marketing and fundraising.

For more information on ACT’s current Board see Those interested in finding out more, may contact the head of ACT’s Nominations Committee, Helga Marshall, c/o

The deadline for submitting a resume and cover letter to is May 9, 2016.

Happy Holidays from ACT

ACT Holiday Hours

ACT will be closed December 25th to January 1st and will reopen on Monday, January 4th at 8:30AM. In case of emergency, please call 778-945-1086; this number will be monitored during the holiday season.

If you have a general question that can wait until the New Year, please leave a voicemail at 604-205-5467.

Apply to Present

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research: Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programs

See details and download application Deadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016.

ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research Conference will provide a forum for researchers, community organizations, educators and parents to consider the realities facing marginalized families who have children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, including Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Intellectual Disabilities.

Apply to present – see details and download application. Deadline to apply to present is January 18, 2016. The conference will be held April 15 & 16.

ACT Welcomes Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project

ACT – Autism Community Training (ACT) is delighted to be chairing the Parent Coaching Steering Committee that will put in place an innovative research project targeting the needs of B.C. families who suspect that their very young child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The $3 million project has the potential to answer many research questions about the value of parent coaching in changing the developmental path of children who develop autism. It is being funded by the Government of British Columbia and is the only project of its kind in Canada targeting children under three years of age focusing on researching parent coaching. For the Government of B.C.’s news release see: Autism research project to help B.C. parents of young children.

ACT welcomes the opportunity to partner in this project with the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and with the Pacific Autism Family Centre, as well as the Ministry of Children and Family Development. One of ACT’s interests will be to see whether this research can help pinpoint ways of supporting families from chronically under-served groups within the autism community, including aboriginal families, recent immigrants, refugees and those living in rural and remote communities.

ACT looks forward to working with the many professionals and agencies across B.C. who will welcome the opportunity to support parent coaching. Collaboration with community health nurses and speech-language pathologists based in public health units, organizations such as the Infant Development Program (IDP) and Aboriginal IDP, professionals who specialize in autism, as well as organizations supporting immigrants, all will be key to reaching vulnerable families and their children.

Upcoming Events

Vancouver Island this Spring

February 20th, 2016 – Sidney
Positive Behavior Support: What Parents Need to Know! Presented by Brenda Fossett, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Save the Date! – 2016 Events with Roy Richard Grinker, Michelle Garcia Winner and Sarah Ward


Details and registration coming soon

April 15 & 16, 2016, Vancouver
ACT’s 12th Annual Focus on Research – co-sponsored by Simon Fraser University

Autism & Family Quality of Life – Developing Culturally Responsive Research and Intervention Programs
Keynote speaker: Roy Richard Grinker, author of Unstrange Minds (

August 4 & 5, 2016, Vancouver
Michelle Garcia Winner and Pamela Crooke from Social Thinking®

September 15 & 16, 2016. Richmond
Sarah Ward from Cognitive Connections Therapy, LLP