Our History

PAR  (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability) was incorporated in 1970 as a statewide, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Today, PAR is the largest and most active association of intellectual disability and autism service providers in Pennsylvania. 

PAR proudly represents provider organizations whose mission is to serve and support Pennsylvania's children and adults with autism or intellectual disability. 2020 marked our 50th year as the only statewide provider association in the Commonwealth with this exclusive focus.  

With a workforce of over 50,000 Pennsylvanians supporting tens of thousands of individuals and their families, the association promotes the highest standards of service through advocacy, information, training and education, and the resources provided by our members.

Mission, Vision & Values

Mission & Vision

PAR's mission is to strengthen the capacity of its membership to provide person-centered services to Pennsylvanians with intellectual disability or autism.

PAR envisions a service provider community that is an effective political, economic, and social force that ensures a person-centered, viable, quality service system that betters the lives of people with intellectual disability or autism.

PAR Principles

  1. BUILD THE CAPACITY TO FULLY SERVE EVERYONE
    PAR will play a leadership role in developing comprehensive support systems that have the capacity to fully serve everyone with autism and intellectual disabilities. These support systems will be built on efficient and effective evidence-based policies, practices and quality frameworks and will be a model for the country.

  2. FOSTER A TRUSTWORTHY AND ACCOUNTABLE PRIVATE SECTOR
    PAR will foster a private sector resource that is trustworthy, transparent, accountable and has integrity so that family members can have confidence in its lifelong capacity to care for and support their sons and daughters, and they in turn can be assured that their needs will be met, and that the community will value and support community providers in their mission.

  3. WORK FOR A RESPONSIBLE HUMAN RESOURCE POLICY
    PAR believes that Direct Support Professionals are critical to system-wide excellence. PAR will work to improve providers’ ability to recruit and retain committed staff with compensation and benefits that are commensurate to their contribution.

  4. PROMOTE A FISCALLY SOUND, FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE PRIVATE SECTOR
    PAR will promote a fiscally sound, fiscally responsible private sector capable of meeting the needs of Pennsylvania’s families and individuals who are living with autism and intellectual disabilities.

  5. BUILD PARTNERSHIPS WITH SELF ADVOCATES AND FAMILIES
    PAR will build powerful partnerships with people with autism and people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

  6. POSITION PAR AS A RESOURCE FOR EVERYONE
    PAR and its website will be relevant and timely resources for everyone in Pennsylvania interested in supports for people with intellectual disabilities and people with autism. These resources will enable people to exercise choice, to access resources, services and supports, and to increase community awareness.

  7. INFLUENCE POLICIES AND RESOURCES THROUGH COLLABORATION
    PAR will work with our public and private partners to influence policies and resources that will effectively serve the needs of people with intellectual disabilities and people with autism.

  8. SHARE EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE GLOBALLY
    PAR will engage in global partnerships that will share experience and knowledge that will enhance PAR’s ability to effect change for individuals and families, recognizing that the needs of people with disabilities and solutions for meeting those needs are universal.