Cynthia Carroll, Chair CASDA, Executive Director Autism Nova Scotia
Bio: Cynthia Carroll is the national chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, and Executive Director of Autism Nova Scotia. A tireless leader and visionary, she has created legacies of growth and success in the not-for-profit sector.
In 2008, Carroll founded the Autism Council of Nova Scotia, uniting autism groups across the province. In 2010, she participated on a working group that made 53 recommendations to government addressing gaps in service, resulting in the first ASD Action Plan in Canada. Following this, Carroll participated in the development of a national needs assessment and the Canadian Autism Partnership, which addresses autism issues across the lifespan at the national level. Carroll was a member of the Autism Management Advisory team and co-author of the Autism Management Advisory Team on Assessing the Lifespan Needs of Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Nova Scotia (2010), and collaborated with Dr. Jonathan Weiss at the University of York to co-author a National Need Assessment.
In addition, Carroll was appointed by the federal Minister of Health in 2015 to serve as vice-chair of the National Working Group exploring the feasibility of a Canadian Autism Partnership. Currently, she—along with the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance—is working to develop the first ever Canadian National Autism Strategy.
Carroll’s focus on employment through the work of Autism Nova Scotia includes autism training for employers, a full suite of employment support and programming for adults on the autism spectrum, a social enterprise, and a jobseeker’s database that currently supports 350 adults on the spectrum who are Ready, Willing and Able to work. Passionate and dedicated, Carroll’s leadership has created profound and positive change for the thousands of families living with autism across Canada.