In recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022—Live from Ottawa

December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

Today, equal rights are not met for persons with disabilities, especially for those with intersecting identities. Persons with disabilities continue to be disproportionately impacted by existing inequities in policies, programs, and services in our society.

This past week, Autism Alliance of Canada was privileged to meet our members, partners, and collaborators in Ottawa (ON), in recognition of the 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD2022).

We proudly recognize the work being done across Canada to improve equity, accessibility, and outcomes with, for, and by persons with disabilities. In this blog post we highlight some of the work being done towards a more inclusive Canada.

Towards a National Autism Strategy: Autism Alliance of Canada meets in-person to discuss our strategic direction

Autism Alliance of Canada board members and staff

On November 25, 2022, Autism Alliance of Canada’s Board Members and leadership team met for the first time in 3 years to chart a path forward to realize our collective vision: Autistic people and their families exercising their full rights and realizing their full potential.

Ready Willing & Able: Continuing to build inclusive workplaces

On November 25, 2022, Autism Alliance of Canada met with our partner, Inclusion Canada to discuss the progress of our national employment program: Ready, Willing & Able (RWA)

Jonathan Lai posing with 2 members from Inclusion Canada

Since 2014, RWA has supported over 3,500 employment outcomes and connected with 17,000 employers across Canada. 

We look forward to our continued partnership with Inclusion Canada to deliver Ready, Willing & Able in the years to come.

IDPD 2022 Reception: Working together for a more inclusive Canada

Dr. Jonathan Lai being photographed with Debbie Irish and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

On November 29, 2022, Minister Carla Qualtrough held a reception in recognition of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Autism Alliance of Canada was honoured to be present at the reception, alongside persons with disabilities, persons with lived experience, as well as our members, partners, and collaborators from across the country. 

We welcome the federal government’s steps towards catalyzing meaningful change on priority issues facing Autistic persons and their families through a National Autism Strategy.

“Working together, Learning from Each Other, Making a Plan for the Future”

Two representatives people from from disability-focused organizations posing

On November 30 and December 1, 2022, Autism Alliance of Canada coordinated a session with representatives from disability-focused organizations across Canada to lay the groundwork for how we plan to work together to build a Pan-Canadian Disability Coalition

Funded by the Government of Canada, this project, “Building a Collective Impact Forum for Canada,” aims to build a permanent, intersectional framework that addresses systematic barriers faced by persons with disabilities. This framework will enable organizations to collaborate with the community, to align on a vision for change, priority issues, activities, and evaluation.

Over the two days, we discussed how to work together to ensure that attitudes, policies, supports and programs reflect the needs of persons with disabilities in Canada. This group will meet again in March 2023 to continue the discussion.

House of Commons completes Second Reading of Bill S-203

Inside of House of Commons during Second Reading of Bill S-203

On December 1st, 2022, the House of Commons came together to unanimously move Bill S-203, “Federal Framework on Autism Spectrum Disorder Act.”

Autism Alliance of Canada applauds the support for Bill S-203

We invite you to share and follow the progress of Bill S-203 as it makes its way through the House of Commons. We look forward to empowering our members to share their support and perspectives on Bill S-203, should there be another opportunity to appear as witnesses before the Standing Committee on Health.

Twice a month, we reach out exclusively to our members to share content relating to priority issues that Autistic persons and their loved ones face across the lifespan. 

In each newsletter, we share about the development of the National Autism Strategy, as well as issues of interest for the Autistic community in Canada. We also highlight current events, research initiatives, opportunities to engage, as well as projects from our members.

If you would like to stay updated on top stories, get involved in our working groups, communities of practices, and committees, share your perspective in engagement opportunities or make a contribution to our newsletter, make sure to register as a member of Autism Alliance of Canada!