Over 14 years ago, Autism Alliance of Canada initiated the push for a National Autism Strategy following the 2007 Senate report “Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis.” We have united collaborators nationwide to advocate for the creation of a National Autism Strategy ever since.
Why do we need a National Autism Strategy?
National policies and strategies are essential tools that help prioritize Autistic needs, streamline resources, and promote health equity. In some places, policies do not address the needs of Autistic people, leading to issues in accessing services. A National Autism Strategy is crucial for inclusive health, education, and justice systems that empower Autistic Canadians to reach their fullest potential.
Our aim is for Canada’s National Autism Strategy to create tangible change, ensuring equal access to resources throughout the lives of Autistic people and their families.
Our role in achieving a National Autism Strategy
Autism Alliance of Canada is helping drive Canada’s National Autism Strategy. We are making a real impact by voicing the concerns of Autistic people and families to Canadian decision-makers. Our united efforts and policy recommendations make us a trusted bridge between government, research, and the disability community for improved autism policies in Canada.
A few things we have achieved over the past 5 years:
- We created the Blueprint and the Roadmap for a National Autism Strategy, guiding collaboration between the government, Autistic people, their families, and those that support them to develop the Strategy.
- We advocated for federal parties’ commitment to a National Autism Strategy before the fall 2019 elections.
- Following community advocacy, in December 2019, the Prime Minister announced the federal government’s commitment to the development and implementation of a National Autism Strategy for Canada.
- We presented at the Senate of Canada in favor of Bill S-203, “An Act respecting a federal framework on autism spectrum disorder,” which successfully passed on March 30, 2023.
What we will achieve over the next 5 years:
- Research and gather data to shape policies for better outcomes for Autistic people and families.
- Strengthen ties with the Public Health Agency of Canada and other government branches to enhance the National Autism Strategy.
- Involve Autistic people, support persons, and families in policy development.
- Use events like the Canadian Autism Leadership Summit to drive action on shared priorities.
- Connect our members with international policymakers for mutual learning and progress.
- Ensure Canada is informed by and contributes to the development and implementation of international autism policy and practices.
- Work with other disability organizations to advocate for, monitor, and evaluate autism policy based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Autism Alliance of Canada has long led calls for a National Autism Strategy, and is the ideal network to tackle policy and research challenges beyond one organization’s capacity. We are committed to helping the Government of Canada and to ensuring a strong, actionable, and measurable National Autism Strategy.