Patti Saylor

Patti is the proud mother of three young adult children, Emma, Adam and the late Ethan Saylor. She has been an advocate for most of her life. As a teenager, Patti volunteered with Special Olympics Maryland, later earning a degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Shepherd College (University) with an emphasis on working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1987, shortly after Ethan was born Patti founded F.R.I.E.N.D.S, The Family Resource Information and Education Network for Down Syndrome, a parent support network in Frederick, Maryland, now an NDSS affiliate. Patti went on to become a registered nurse and eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. Patti has served on the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, co-founded The Parent’s Place of Western Maryland and was instrumental in creating inclusive education opportunities for children with Down syndrome in Frederick County. Patti has served on numerous work groups, committees and boards, all in an effort to increase awareness and acceptance of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Patti is currently the owner of Health Link LLC. She and her nurses provide nursing case management for adults with disabilities who choose to live in their own homes and self-direct their own services with the support of the significant people in their lives. Patti and her family were and continue to be tireless advocates for their beloved Ethan. They supported him to follow his dreams and live the life he wanted, a life of love and acceptance. Following his tragic death last January, Patti has dedicated herself to advocate justice for Ethan. Patti continues to fight fearlessly at the federal and state levels of government to ensure what happened to Ethan never happens to another member of the Down syndrome or disability community again. In large response to Ethan’s senseless death, Governor O’Malley of Maryland issued and executive order establishing the Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities. In addition, Patti along with other dedicated advocates in the state of Maryland are spearheading an effort to pass a Ethan’s Law.

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