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National Consultation Announcement: Informing the Development of a National Autism Network

Autism Alliance of Canada would like to share that an important step towards advancing Canada’s National Autism Strategy is now underway. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reached out to Autism Alliance of Canada, the Pacific Autism Family Network and Autism Speaks Canada to collaborate in outlining plans for a National Autism Network to help action the national strategy.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has stated that the purpose of the network is to “bring together the skills and resources of autism organizations and stakeholders, including those with lived experience, to support the implementation of activities focused on key autism priorities; and provide a forum for ongoing engagement of Autistics living in Canada on federal policies and programs.”

As part of this project, these three organizations have engaged Sonderbloom, an independent social services and health care consulting firm, to oversee consultation with a diverse community of experts to inform the proposed design, development, implementation and evaluation of a National Autism Network with our guidance. This firm will produce a report outlining the potential structure and function of a Network based on this input. 

What will the consultation process look like?

  • Consultations will take place to include a broad range of people and organizations, including: Autistic persons; caregivers, support persons, and families; First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities; multi-cultural and religious communities; 2SLGBTQIA+ communities; rural and remote communities; service providers; government officials, and researchers.
  • A National Consultation Website launched on June 15, 2023 and will serve as the home of an online survey open through August 4, 2023. 
  • A working group of legal, operational and accounting experts (including persons with lived experience) will be collaborating to share their perspectives on next steps, including the generation and approval of a final report to PHAC.

We have taken to heart lessons learned from prior consultation processes and national initiatives, and will continue to advocate for transparency and collaboration amongst all parties with an interest in the development and implementation of a National Autism Strategy.

We recognize that your expertise, insights, and lived experiences are crucial to the success of this initiative. We encourage you to share your perspective at any stage of the process.

For further information and to fill out the online survey, please visit nationalautismnetwork.ca or contact info@nationalautismnetwork.ca.

Thank you for your dedication to enhancing the lives of Autistic people and their families and making Canada a more inclusive country.