Gordon Richins Award for Leadership and Advocacy

2021 Fran D. Goldfarb, MA, MCHES, CFPS

November 22, 2021

The Council on Leadership in Advocacy presents the Gordon Richins Award for Leadership and Advocacy in recognition of exemplary leadership and advocacy practices of including people with disabilities and family members in projects and initiatives within a Center and the AUCD network as a whole. This award is named after Gordon Richins, a long-time leader, mentor and friend in the AUCD network and beyond.

Fran D. Goldfarb, MA, MCHES, CFP

USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
at Children's Hospital Los Angeles

In Recognition of Your Commitment, Leadership, and Potential

Throughout her career, Fran D. Goldfarb, MA, MCHES, CFP, has gained a national recognition for her work in inclusion to support individuals and their families in multiple projects and initiatives both in our center as well as for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). Fran has over 40 years' experience as a health educator and is credentialed as a Master Health Education Specialist (MCHES). She has been a pioneer of innovative program development and training in systems navigation to support individuals with IDD and their families. She has worked with individuals of all ages, including adolescents, having directed an Adolescent Health Care Program at Clinica Sierra Vista in Lamont, California (1979). Over the past 20 years she has been devoted to work in Family Support; specifically providing education and support to families of children with disabilities and special healthcare needs, training pre and post service professionals to work in partnership with parents and helping to develop family support as a professional model. As a credentialed Certified Family Support Provider she has been training families on supporting independence in transition age youth for over 20 years and has been instrumental in supervising a family support program for parents of children with spina bifida (Loving and Learning Together).

Fran developed and implemented a mentoring program for parents of youth with developmental disabilities and emotional/behavioral concerns that has become one of the flagship programs at our UCEDD and regionally. She is also the Core Function Director for Community Education, Information Dissemination and Technical Assistance. Among Fran's many contributions to our UCEDD and the AUCD community is the curriculum for the Family Support Discipline within our California Leadership Development in Neurodevelopmental disabilities (CA-LEND) program. As one of the first Family Support faculty, Fran has played a major role nationally in the development of this LEND discipline and currently chairs the AUCD Family Discipline Network. She is the Principal Investigator on the LEND Family Involvement Assessment and co-directs Parent IEP Coaching Program in LEND. She has served as the CDC Learn the Signs Act Early Co-Ambassador to California and is a member of the Westside Family Resource Center SelfDetermination Advisory Board, as well as the Project ABC Governance Board. Additionally, Fran trains teachers and school administrators on autism as a member the LA County Autism Spectrum Alliance (LACASA). She is the founder and co- leader of the Los Angeles Asperger Syndrome Parent Support Group. Most importantly, she is the mother of an adult son who has a disability.