CAHS Launches Stakeholder Organization Engagement

February 26, 2021

Autistic adults and family members are steering our stakeholder engagement process. We will seek out and listen to the direct voices of Autistic people, as well as hearing from families and other stakeholders.  This includes being inclusive to Autistic minorities and providing needed accommodations.

We have developed an online template for written submissions from organizations.  Organizations can review the template in advance here.  To fill out the template, click here.  Written submissions will be accepted until midnight April 11th, 2021.  

Asking for written submissions from organizations is the start of our engagement process.

The engagement process also includes the following:

  1. National Opinion Surveys: Environics Research, an independent research firm, will conduct two representative surveys (one in March and another later this summer).  The surveys will help us to get information, opinions, and insights on key issues. Diversity will be sought (geographic, ethnic, gender, LGBTQ+, and so on).  The survey results will highlight the responses of Autistic adults (diagnosed and self-identified) and also include the perspectives of family members, service providers, and the general public.
  2. Open Engagement Hub: We are preparing a public, web-based option for individuals to share stories, post ideas, and give input.  We will send a link once the web-site is live in mid-March.
  3. Web-based Focus Groups: Based on results from the National Opinion Surveys, we will identify what key issues need more exploration.  Focus Groups on these issues will allow for more in-depth discussion.
  4. Stakeholder sessions: There will be a Zoom-based forum for groups and organizations in each province and territory, as well as a session for national groups during April and May.

The results of each stage of this engagement process will be shared with our Working Groups and Oversight Panel. As well, the Working Groups and Oversight Panel will have a detailed review of current literature, which will include:

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

We will create a summary report with key findings resulting from our assessment and engagement processes.  This report will be given to the Public Health Agency of Canada to inform its development of a National Autism Strategy.  We appreciate the contributions of individuals and stakeholder organizations to achieving this goal.