As inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) remain a complex subject, Autism Alliance of Canada is committed to learning as we grow. Further, we are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization and strive towards building an Autistic-inclusive space.
With work on a National Autism Strategy currently underway, Autism Alliance of Canada remains focused on bringing attention to the intersectional barriers experienced by Autistic people living in Canada and their families. We apply an intersectional lens to our work, engaging with Canadians in political spheres, service sectors, research centres and professionals, educational and health sectors, employment sectors and communities – at the federal, provincial, territorial and regional levels, to promote full social inclusion for Autistic people and identify the barriers, biases and discrimination which impede meaningful social inclusion.
While we have a number of initiatives which touch upon the diversity within the Autistic community, we believe it is necessary to strengthen our current practice of ensuring a systemic culture of inclusion and outreach to engage marginalized persons and communities that have traditionally been left out of many activities within the autism sector. Of note, the last five Leadership Summits, from 2018-22, have had increasing levels of attention from the perspectives of Indigenous leaders as it relates to their unique challenges within their communities for Autistic children and adults and their families. We have begun to form working relationships with a number of First Nations across the country, their leadership and members. This will remain a growing activity, as we look for ways to make the work of Autism Alliance of Canada more accessible and relevant to them and to other underrepresented groups from coast to coast.