Autistic people, families, and others who support them are being asked to share their views on autism as part of a broader effort that will inform policy makers considering the development of a National Autism Strategy.
The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) has launched an online engagement hub and a series of community conversations where individuals and organizations can provide input until the end of May. Scientific evidence, informed by this public engagement process, will be the basis of an assessment on autism conducted by CAHS and requested by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
“Through these consultations, CAHS is informing our work in creating a National Autism Strategy. To reflect the voices of Autistic people, their families, and caregivers as we move forward, I encourage people to participate and share their lived experience so we build a strategy that responds to the needs of Autistic people across Canada,” said the Honourable Patti Hajdu, Minister of Health.
The engagement hub features a survey and discussion forums on a range of topics. Live conversations about ways to improve services and programs and foster inclusion will take place in the Zoom-based community conversations. Written submissions from organizations are also being accepted.
All of these public engagement opportunities are available in English and French and were designed with input from Autistic people and family members, as well as researchers, engagement specialists and others.
“Input from Autistic people, their families and others is of central importance to this assessment,” said Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, chair of the assessment’s oversight panel. “That is why we’ve created different ways for individuals and groups to get involved.”
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