October, 28, 2020
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA ANNOUNCES CANADIAN ACADEMY OF HEALTH SCIENCES AS CONSULTATION PARTNERS ON NATIONAL AUTISM STRATEGY
(Toronto, ON): On October 27, 2020, the Government of Canada announced it will be investing $1.46 million for the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) to lead the consultation for the development of a National Autism Strategy. This is a forward movement at a time when the government has many competing priorities. CASDA applauds this important move and we feel confident that the implementation of a National Autism Strategy is closer than ever.
CAHS’s project overview and timeline for consultation on the National Autism Strategy can be found here. At present, CAHS is in the midst of forming an Oversight Panel and Working Groups on various topics. We encourage all stakeholders to engage with the CAHS process and join the Working Groups to help guide the development of the National Autism Strategy so that all Autistic Canadians and their families will see benefit from the Strategy.
CASDA recognizes that Autistic Canadians, service providers, researchers, and other stakeholders put in a tremendous amount of work in the recent Working Groups that CASDA hosted in partnership with research fellows from Kids Brain Health Network. These working groups produced over fifteen policy briefs with specific recommendations for immediate action in five areas of federal jurisdiction: access and affordability, employment, research and governance, housing, and information.
CASDA will be publishing this compendium of policy briefs and sending this to member organizations and disseminate it widely in hopes that this consultation process can build upon information from work already completed in the sector. In addition, the National Needs Assessment Survey (2014), the data from the Canadian Autism Partnership Project (2015-2016), the Blueprint (2019) and Roadmap for a National Autism Strategy (2020) are readily available to aid the discussion and development of the Strategy.
CASDA welcomes this evidence-informed, systematic approach and encourages all stakeholders, autistics and organizations that represent them, researchers and service providers to participate and involve themselves in this process. CAHS is a credible organization strongly grounded in evidence, and we look forward to working with them to connect evidence and practice through policy. This decision is a great step forward for autistic Canadians and their families to make a robust and comprehensive National Autism Strategy a reality.
For more information on CASDA’s past and current initiatives, visit our website at: www.casda.ca.