Community Outreach


She / Her / Hers / Herself
  • Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Director, Jefferson Autism Center of Excellence
  • Professor, Farber Institute for Neurosciences
Organization: Jefferson Autism Center of Excellence

130 South 9th Street
6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Number(s):

Sojorne: Care, Coordination, Community

Sojorne is an innovative app that offers invaluable support to families with individuals, both adults and children, who have special needs. This trusted digital platform provides caretakers with community and assistance in effectively managing health, education, and social priorities. Sojorne streamlines the task of monitoring medications, doctors' appointments, and managing all essential life activites. 

JeffACE CARES Support Group 

We are proud to offer the new support group for families of autistic individuals called JeffACE CARES. Our objective is to connect with the autism community, and for them to connect with each other and to provide needed information and resources. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with other families of autistic persons, learn about autism from evidence-based sources, receive information about evaluation and treatment services and special events. The group will be offered online in English and Spanish to increase participation from diverse autistic communities. Please scan and register using these links:

Groothie Pop-up

The Groothie Pop-up event is an event that occurs on the Jefferson Center City campus. The program highlights the vocational abilities of young people who are on the Autism Spectrum and highlight a local business dedicated to supporting individuals with Autism and diversity in the workforce. At each event, the free samples Groothie Smoothie made and distributed by students of local schools who are on the Autism Spectrum. Occupational therapy students from Thomas Jefferson facilitate the event and are there to support the students. 

Craft Day

Our craft day is an event in which the membership of Autism Advocacy Group gathers to fabricate sensory items. Store-bought sensory items can be costly; this program aims to build sensory items similar to those that are mass-produced and supply them to a local school or community partner in need. If you are part of a local organization in need of sensory items, please contact us at for more information.

Fidgit Toys

Dr. Schaaf’s team of Graduate Assistants are working together with Drexel University to compile a list of sensory items shown to help individuals with Autism. The list will aid people who are working with kids who have Autism when deciding which sensory items may work for the individual they are working with and why those sensory items work may work. (This list will be used in collaboration with the person who has Autism due to the diverse nature of people on the Autism spectrum) Eventually, this list will act as a guide for staff of Drexel University as they aim to provide individualized care to the greater community of people who have Autism.