Push for Canadian Autism Partnership Model to Continue Despite Omission in Federal Budget

Halifax, NS – March 23, 2017: The push to establish a Canadian Autism Partnership will continue despite not being reflected in the federal budget that was announced yesterday.  

“We are obviously disappointed that the Federal Government decided not to include the Canadian Autism Partnership in the 2017 budget,” said Cynthia Carroll, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA). “This Partnership, and the development of its business plan, reflects an exceptional investment of expertise and time from thousands of Canadians across the country who believe it is the way forward to effectively address the complex issues pertaining to Autism. Understandably, there is some sadness in our community today – but we will continue to seek answers on the next steps in making this Partnership a reality.”

CASDA along with Canada’s leading experts in Autism representing the Canadian Autism Partnership’s Working Group and the seven Autistic adults who made-up the Self-Advocate Advisory Committee, say that while this is not the result they were hoping for, they will not be deterred.

“Canadians have spoken:  a national approach is the way  forward – we must keep working closely with the Autism community and the decision-­makers in government”,” said Dr. Stelios Georgiades, member of the CAP Working Group and Founder, co-Director of MacART (McMaster Autism Research Team). “Right now, it is fair to say we are fragmented – especially in the way that we deliver resources and supports in each province and territory. There are no quick fixes to these complex issues. We understand that. We will continue our efforts to establish the position that a Canadian Autism Partnership can serve as a national innovation to address the needs of all Canadians affected by Autism.”

The Canadian Autism Partnership initiative was officially launched in July 2015 with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. The Partnership initiative is a project of the CASDA developed in response to Autism in Canada, 2014, CASDA’s national Autism needs assessment report.

The CAP business plan, presented to the Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health in November 2016, proposed a $19 million dollar investment, over five years, from the federal government and provided a detailed rationale for a Partnership model which would stand as a vehicle for knowledge generation, transition and exchange; a model that would build and enhance capacity – and most importantly a structure that would mobilize partners across jurisdictions and sectors. The plan also prioritized five complex issues, which were determined in large part based on input from Autistic individuals and their families; and outlined the model to address them and the expected outcomes from this national asset.

To learn more about the Canadian Autism Partnership Project and review the business plan, visit www. capproject.ca.

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For Information Contact:
Allison Garber
Communications Lead, Canadian Autism Partnership Project
(902) 221-5254
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Canada’s Autism Leaders Call For A Canadian Autism Partnership

Halifax, NS – January 17, 2017: Informed by over 5,000 Canadians engaged through nation-wide community roundtables, meetings with government representatives and a national survey – the business plan for a Canadian Autism Partnership was delivered at the close of 2016 to the Hon. Jane Philpott, Minister of Health.

The Canadian Autism Partnership Project (CAPP) was officially launched in July 2015 with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. CAPP is a project of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) developed in response to Autism in Canada, 2014, CASDA’s national Autism needs assessment report.

“While this plan is solidified with research and the latest statistics, woven throughout is the very real frustration, hopelessness and desire for action being felt across Canada from Autistic individuals, their families, and the professionals that serve them,” says Cynthia Carroll, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance. “The reality is that every jurisdiction has been struggling to have their service offerings keep up with the dramatic increase in ASD diagnoses as well as the increasingly complex needs of this population. For the most part, the provinces and territories have found themselves working in silos – independently forming strategies to address Autism the best they can with the information and resources they have. The result is varying levels of support and inconsistent responses across the country.”

The CAP business plan proposes a $19 million dollar investment, over five years, from the federal government and provides a detailed rationale for a Partnership model which will stand as a vehicle for knowledge generation, transition and exchange; a model that builds and enhances capacity – and most importantly a structure that mobilizes partners across jurisdictions and sectors. The plan also prioritizes five complex issues, which were determined in large part based on input from Autistic individuals and their families; and outlines the model to address them and the expected outcomes from this national asset.

Using the latest incidence data from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), one in 68 children is diagnosed with Autism, representing a 30 per cent increase since 2006. Supports, resources and services across Canada have not kept up with the increase in diagnosis, but Stelios Georgiades, member of CAPP’s expert-led working group and Founder and Co-Director of the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART), believes that Canada is well positioned to be a global catalyst for positive change.

“While in recent years we did see a rise in Canadians diagnosed with ASD, we are also gaining greater awareness, stronger acceptance and better understanding,” says Georgiades. “Canada is well regarded for its Autism research on a global platform. Through this initiative we have an opportunity to build on our reputation for international leadership, demonstrating how we come together as a nation to support Canadians on the Autism Spectrum, along with their families and caregivers, and address the complex, systemic barriers that limit their ability to fully participate in Canadian society.”

The development of the business plan was also guided by the involvement of seven Autistic self-advocates from across Canada who served on CAPP’s Self-Advocate Advisory Committee, “We are finally in a place we are being asked to be a part of the process in a very real way,” says Jackie McMillan, Self-Advocate Advisory Committee member from Kitchener, Ontario. “It’s a dream come true, it’s so empowering to be able to come forward with a group of people that I respect and admire so much, and be able to frame out what do we need and why do we need it, and that is so incredibly heartening.”

To learn more about the Canadian Autism Partnership Project visit www. capproject.ca

For Information Contact:
Allison Garber
Communications Lead, Canadian Autism Partnership Project
(902) 221-5254
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The National Online Survey

YELLOWKNIFE, MAY 3, 2016 — The Canadian Autism Partnership Project (CAPP) today launched a national online survey to explore how a Canadian partnership could improve the autism landscape in this country.

“Autism is a complex health, social and economic issue that requires urgent action. A national partnership is critical to ensuring efficient, effective solutions are put in place to address what is being called a health crisis in this country,” says CAPP Chair Cynthia Carroll.

The survey, which will run until June 30th, will gather information and insight from individuals with autism, their families, service providers, researchers, government leaders and others about the need for a national partnership and the structure this might take.

“This project is vital to the health and well-being of Canadians living with autism,” says Carroll. “A national, collaborative partnership will provide a systematic approach to tackling the most complex issues affecting Canadians living with autism including  early detection and diagnosis; treatment and support across the lifespan; education, training and awareness; attachment to the labour force; community living; and impact on caregivers. This partnership will focus on the systemic barriers and potential solutions, building on innovation and evidence.”

Responses from the survey, the first of its kind in the country, will be used to inform a business plan CAPP is preparing for the federal government. This plan will spell out how a national partnership could improve conditions for Canadians living with autism, their families and their caregivers.

"We need help from Canadians to develop the plan,” says Carroll. “We need to know the obstacles and opportunities people face. For any partnership to be effective, we need your input."

Autism now affects 1 in every 68 children in Canada. A national partnership is essential to ensure that individuals living with autism can achieve their fullest potential in a system that effectively anticipates and consistently addresses their needs. The partnership will provide a portal for information and research and a place where cross-sectoral collaboration and innovation can happen.

This initiative is being led by the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) and funding is provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Its purpose is to conduct a cross-country consultation that will result in the creation of a business plan for a Canadian Autism Partnership. The plan will be completed by March 31, 2017.

For more information, please contact:

Allison Garber
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.