Autism Ontario’s Provincial Office is located in Toronto and is comprised of approximately 18 staff members, both full-time and part-time, who support the entire organization.
Our Management Team
Farrukh Abbas - Chief Finance and Information Officer
Jessica Bethel - Director, Education, Family Experience and OAP Provider List
Christa Sawyer - Director of Programs and Services
Margaret Spoelstra - Executive Director
Province Wide Staff
Outside of our office in Toronto, Autism Ontario has Service Navigators who work regionally throughout the province.
The faces of the Service Navigation program, our Service Navigators are creative, solution-focused autism professionals scattered throughout the province to reach as many families as possible. Our Service Navigators are here to provide information about the Ontario Autism Program and help connect families to service providers and resources available in their local communities. This will include programs, services and resources that families can purchase with their Childhood Budgets and Interim One Time Funding, as well as other services and supports available locally.
Our Service Navigators also plan, coordinate, and implement events and workshops for autistic children and youth, their families, and professionals in the field of autism.
Autism Ontario is an organization made up of seven regions across the province. Each region is managed by Autism Ontario staff with the support of an Oversight Committee and additional volunteer committees that support local community initiatives.
Below is a list of Autism Ontario’s regions. Though each region showcases communities in their geography it is important to recognize this is not an exhaustive list. Communities located between and in proximity to these communities are also supported by each region. If you are unsure of which region your community is associated with, please email the Volunteer and Chapter Supervisor at ChapterSupervisor@autismontario.com.
Central East (Durham, Simcoe, Peterborough, York)
East (Kingston, Upper Canada, Ottawa)
Central West (Halton, Peel, Waterloo, Wellington)
North (North East, Sault St. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay)
South (Niagara, Brant, Hamilton)
West (London, Windsor Essex, Grey Bruce, Huron Perth)
Board of Directors
Autism Ontario is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the voting membership at our Annual General Meeting. The Board creates governance policies, hires and reviews the performance of the Executive Director, and provides overall guidance to the organization. It speaks with one voice and creates policies to oversee the entire organization and its Regions.
The Board of Directors of Autism Ontario endeavours to be wholly representative of the autism community in our province. Our current board is made up of people on the autism spectrum, parents, caregivers and siblings of autistic people, and professionals who support our vision and mission in their work. Our directors are a diverse group of people from across the province, both Anglophone and Francophone, who have experience in the fields of education, healthcare, law, behaviour analysis and business. They volunteer their time, working together to guide Autism Ontario in its efforts to create a supportive and inclusive Ontario for autism.
2021-2022 Board Members
Kim Moore, President
Lisa Vezeau-Allen, Vice-President
Dr. Barry Bruce, Treasurer
Tanya Rocca, Secretary
Dr. Julia Frei
Dr. Sharon Smile