Self-advocates play an important role in the work and operation of NDSS. Self-advocates testify on important policy issues, serve on the National Board of Directors and the Self-Advocate Advisory Board, and act as Goodwill Ambassador.
Self-Advocate Advisory Board
The Self-Advocate Advisory Board is a group of advisors and experts that helps NDSS staff and Board of Directors ensure that self-advocates are included as important participants and stakeholders in all areas of NDSS programing. The Self-Advocate Advisory Board is made up of current and former self-advocate NDSS board members Mitchell Levtiz, Mia Peterson, Erin Thompson and Sara Wolff; NDSS Goodwill Ambassador and Administrative Assistant Chris Burke; and Essie Pedersonand Phil Pedlikin, professionals in the disability field.
Self-Advocate Members of the NDSS National Board of Directors: Erin Thompson & Sara Wolff
Erin Thompson was the recipient of the Dan Piper Award and the O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund. Erin is a graduate of the George Mason University LIFE program, where she worked at the Broadside Newspaper as a writer and editor. She is a former member of Board of Directors of the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia, though which she advocated to get rid of the "R word" removed fromVirginia's laws. She is also a Special Olympian, Best Buddies Ambassador and plays the piano.
Sara Wolff is a Law Clerk at O’Malley and Langan, P.C. in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where she received the O’Malley and Langan Team Player Award in 2001. She has also served as a Hospitality Aide at St. Mary’s Villa Nursing Home. She is a graduate of North Pocano High School, where she received an Outstanding Achievement Award as well as the title of “Most Inspirational” from her peers. Sara has taken courses at Keystone College and served as a speaker for many organizations, including the University of Scranton. She is a member of the ARC of Northeastern Pennsylvania Board of Directors. Sara also organized the very first Buddy Walk to be held in Lackawanna County. Like Erin, before joining the NDSS Board of Directors, Sara was a recipiant of the O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund. Sarah is featured in NDSS' My Great Story Campaign.