Before we could begin putting together a business plan for a Canadian Autism Partnership (CAP) model, we needed to talk directly to the vast number of people who make up our country’s dynamic, passionate and dedicated Autism community. While this community has always been vocal, we were overwhelmed with the response we received to our call for input.
Autistic individuals, families and caregivers, service providers, educators and government representatives came together in communities across Canada to have their say and express their support for this initiative. CAP’s business model will, of course, depend heavily on statistics, data by region and research from Canada’s leading experts. Woven throughout the document, will be the voices of families and caregivers seeking support, professionals and service providers looking for best practices, and most importantly, Autistic adults asking to be heard.
The number of responses to the national survey, the invigorating roundtable sessions and the geography we were able to cover across Canada throughout this consultation process – all speak to the significant need this community has for a national fixture to activate and facilitate systematic change. A need for a structure to bring together the relevant sectors, governments and experts to address the most complex issues facing Canadians living with Autism across the lifespan.