What’s Happening?

June 17, 2021 – The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences has announced dates for four Policy Discussions on Autism. These sessions will explore key issues and potential policy solutions related to social inclusion, economic inclusion, and interventions. 


  • Discussion 1: Social Inclusion
    July 19, 11:30 am – 2:00 pm ET

  • Discussion 2: Economic Inclusion
    July 19, 3:00 – 5:30 pm ET

  • Discussion 3: Interventions
    July 20, 11:30 am – 2:00 pm ET

  • Discussion 4: Overarching issues
    July 20, 3:00 – 5:30 pm ET

The policy discussions follow a broad public consultation where Autistic individuals, family members, supporters and organizations shared a wide range of views around their needs and experiences. This is another opportunity to engage by providing input on possible strategies and approaches. Learn more and register here.

About the Assessment

Across Canada, autistic individuals – children, youth, and adults –require a variety of supports in terms of health, education, and social services. Access to these supports can vary greatly between regions, provinces, and territories.

Recognizing these challenges, the federal government has committed to working with provinces, territories, self-advocates, families, and other stakeholders toward the creation of a national autism strategy.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) asked the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) to lead an assessment to inform the federal government as the government creates this national strategy.  Autistic adults, family members, clinicians, and researchers from a variety of fields make up the Oversight Panel and Working Groups and will examine the evidence and lived-experience.

The Autism Assessment will be based on a careful review of scientific evidence and current information, including the following:

  • Published research
  • Reports from government and organizations
  • Best practices
  • Policies (in Canada and around the world)

This assessment will also involve a significant engagement process that includes:

  • Engagement hub
  • Community conversations
  • Written submissions
  • Policy discussions
  • National Opinion Surveys and Focus Groups
  • Representation on the Oversight Panel and three Working Groups

Based on the above, the Oversight Panel and Working Groups will write and submit a report of findings that will inform policy makers tasked with developing the National Strategy on Autism.

For more information about the Oversight Panel and each Working Group, click below:

For further information about the overall assessment process, please click here.

Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ assessments are formal reports prepared under the direction of an independent panel, whose members are specifically chosen for their expertise, freedom from real and perceived conflicts of interest, and contributions to a balance of views.  The panel reviews the findings from the assessment and prepares a report that is reviewed independently by external experts, prior to being submitted to PHAC.

About CAHS

Nearly 800 CAHS Fellows are drawn from all disciplines from Canada’s academia, health care and research institutes.

In the past, CAHS has completed assessments on key issues such as:

  • Improving the quality of life and care of persons living with dementia and their caregivers
  • Academic recognition of team sciences: how to optimize the Canadian academic system
  • Improving access to oral health care for vulnerable people living in Canada.

For a full list of our previously completed assessments, please click here.