Q:  How can I get involved?

A:  Please contact us at autism@cahs-cass.ca and we will let you know what opportunities are currently available and suggest what might be the best fit.

Q:  What is a Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) assessment?

A:  Assessments involve understanding what we know and—more importantly—what we do not know about the science underlying an issue within Canadian health care. These assessments define questions that remain unanswered, establish a holistic view of complex issues by examining the validity of the science informing them

Q:  Why is this Canadian Academy of Health Sciences Assessment on Autism important?

A:  The government of Canada has asked the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences to conduct this assessment to provide policy-makers with evidence-based recommendations as they begin the task to develop a national autism policy.  Such a policy would have a profound impact on autistic Canadians, their families, friends, service providers, and Canadian society in general.

Q:  Why are leaders of the various advocacy groups not part of the assessment?

A: Advocacy groups will be able to engage with the Oversight Panel and Working Group members through an extensive stakeholder engagement process.

Q:  Why aren’t more autistic people part of the membership of the assessment panel?

A:  We believe that the panel is representative.  This is a scientific process requiring specialized expertise in a variety of health and social sciences. The leadership of autistic people in the Oversight Panel and the Working Groups ensures Autistic people, their families and care providers vital insights and experience will drive our assessment.

Q:  Some groups do not want a national strategy on autism, so why are you pushing for one?

A: The role of this assessment is limited to informing the development of a national strategy on autism.  It will be up to the Government of Canada to decide if it wishes to proceed.

Q:  Is the panel influenced by specific groups and/or specific views?

A: No, panel members have made a commitment to be open to other ideas.  CAHS brings together experts in an unbiased way to provide evidence-based reports that are meant to inform policy-makers.

Q:  Is the CAHS compliant with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)?

A:  Yes the CAHS is compliant with the UNCRPD.  The CAHS is not obligated under the CRPD to have a majority representation of disabled people on the Autism Assessment committees. We are involving Autistic people in decision-making through the Oversight Panel and all Working Groups.  We are extensively consulting and involving, in a meaningful and timely manner, autistic individuals and organizations.