Diana MTK Autin, JD, is Executive Director of the SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), a family-serving, parent-led organization located in Newark, NJ (www.spanadvocacy.org), which has housed NJ’s federally-designated Family-to-Family Health Information Center for 16 years and the state’s Parent Training and Information Center for over 33 years. SPAN is the NJ affiliate for Family Voices, Parent to Parent USA, and the National Federation of Families (formerly the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health (FFCMH). SPAN operates the National Center for Parent Information and Resources (www.parentcenterhub.org) and the National RAISE Transition Parent TA Center (www.RAISEcenter.org). SPAN’s Military Family 360 Support program is embedded on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. For almost two decades, Autin has provided technical assistance (TA) and support to the 26 parent centers in Region A of the US (including the territories of Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands) under the NE-PACT Regional Parent TA Center funded by the US Department of Education. Since 2005, Ms. Autin has provided technical assistance (TA) and support to other F2Fs and Family Voices Affiliates, first as a Regional Coordinator, then as a National TA Coordinator, and over the past 5 years as Co-Director of the National Center for Leadership in Family Professional Partnerships, a project of Family Voices in collaboration with SPAN, which is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services. She works regionally, nationally and in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands providing support to F2Fs/FV State Affiliates, Parent Centers, and other family-led organizations on issues related to family engagement, parent and youth leadership development, health and mental health, cultural competence, early childhood, education, and transition to adult services for youth. She served for 5 years as a consultant for the National Center for Systemic Improvement (Data Use Team; Early Intervention Family Outcomes Cross-State Learning Collaborative; and Community of Partners Workgroup). She worked with the IDEA Partnership in development of Leading by Convening: The Partnership Way and the Creating Agreement collection, and served on the Advisory Committees for the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting and Scaling Up Implementation of State Evidence-Based Practices (SISEP). She serves as a consultant and Wisdom Council member for the National Center for Cultural Competence. She is on the Advisory Committee the Region 1 Equity Assistance Center. She is a member of the Board of the National Federation of Families, which serves as SAMHSA’s National Family TA Center. She previously served on the NJ Early Intervention State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report and State Systemic Improvement Plan Stakeholders Advisory Committees and is a governor appointee to the NJ Council for Young Children. She has authored numerous guides for families on partnering with professionals and advocating on behalf of their children across education, health, mental health, human services, child welfare, and juvenile justice systems. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Family Voices Champion of Health Equity Award (2021), NJ Women Leading the Way for Immigrant Justice (2020), National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Reclaiming Children Award (2018), Map to Inclusive Child Care Award (2014), NJ Citizen Action Advocacy Honoree (2014), Collaboration on Behalf of Maternal and Child Health Award (2010), Art of Novel Partnership Award (2010), Outstanding Family Leadership Achievement Award, National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (2010), Best Practices in Reducing Health Disparities Award (2009), the Un Mundo Para Todos: One World for All Advocacy Award (2008), and the Family Service League National Family Week Family Advocate for the Year Award (2003), among others. Autin and her husband have raised four adult children from diverse backgrounds (Latino, African-American, Jamaican, and Filipina), and have a 14-year granddaughter. As a parent, Autin founded her town’s first Special Education Parent Advisory Council and also served as the Co-Chair of the Montclair Council of PTAs. Ms. Autin is of Cajun and Native American background. She received her BA degree with Honors from the University of Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1977. She also was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University and a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School.
Resources & Materials
504 Advocacy Ages 3-5 Ages 5-14 Ages 14 & Up Ages Birth-3 Arabic Assistive Technology Childcare Child Welfare Chinese Disability Discipline Early Intervention (EI) Education English Language Learner Fact Sheet Family Engagement/Involvement Haitian Creole Health HIB-Harassment Intimidation Bullying Hindi Inclusion Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Juvenile Justice Korean Laws/Rights Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Marshallese Medical Home Mental Health Outreach Polish Portuguese Positive Behavior Supports Russian Somali Spanish SPAN Project Materials SPAN Publications Special Education Transition to Adulthood Vietnamese