Provincial Election 2022

Autism Ontario's Provincial Election Survey

Earlier this spring, we asked you, our valued community members, to share your thoughts in our Provincial Election Survey to share your priorities and concerns, and the issues that matter most to you as an autistic adult or caregiver of an autistic adult in Ontario in the leadup to the provincial election on June 2.

Thank you for your helping us focus our work in the leadup to the provincial election. Your voice is important to us, and we are grateful that you shared your thoughts with us. Here are the highlights from the survey responses:

Click here to see the results of our Provincial Election Survey.
Provincial Party Platforms on the Issues Most Important to You

Resources

For Ontario’s autistic people, the outcome of the provincial election has never been more important. Yet, the reality is that many provincial party leadership platforms lack detail when it comes to addressing the critical gaps in supports and services for autistic adults. We hope that you find the following resources helpful in advocating for supports and services for autistic adults as we approach June 2.

Effective Election Advocacy Toolkit
Voting Tipsheets

Positive Advocacy Webinar:
Helping Your Voice and the Voice of your Loved Ones Be Heard

The work of being a positive advocate when facing intersecting, socially constructed, and systemic barriers to living a fulfilling life can feel heavy and isolating. It is important to find creative ways to collectively advocate and share your message with people in elected positions and positions of power that impact accessibility and opportunities for autistic adults, people with developmental disabilities, and their parents and siblings.

In this discussion, our panelists will share their own journeys and perspectives of navigating systemic barriers while engaging in positive advocacy with elected officials and within systems to affect positive change. 

 

About the speakers

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Sherron Grant

Sherron Grant, M.Ed. is an educator, advocate for persons with special needs and the co-founder of Sawubona Africentric Circle of Support (formerly The Black Parents of Children and Adults with a Disability Support Group).

Sherron is a caregiver and supports families, volunteers and advocates for persons living with various disabilities, to be recognized for their valuable contributions to society and emphasizes the benefit we all experience when eliminating barriers for others. Sherron is the 2020 recipient of the Community Living Toronto Jim Turner Award for Outstanding Voluntarism.

Charlene Davidson 

Charlene Davidson is a sibling of a person who has a developmental disability. She was born and raised in Ontario and now lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children. Her brother also lives in Ottawa in independent living with supports.

Charlene acts as an advocate for her brother and is a participant in Siblings Canada, a group that unites and strengthens siblings by building networks of peer support and sharing experiences with each other, families, social service agencies, organizations and beyond. Charlene holds degrees from the University of Toronto, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Charlene is also a member of the Law Society of Ontario and was called to the Bar in 2008.

Courtney Weaver

Courtney Weaver is an individual (also self-advocate) who is very much engaged in the field of autism and accessibility. After obtaining a Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University in 2017, she has consistently done a variety of work roles in the aforementioned field.

A few of her current ones include office assistant to MP Mike Lake, Housing Through an Autism Lens (HAL) Solutions Lab self-advocate advisor and project coordinator for the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance’s (CASDA) Work from Home project. 

 

A Mother's Election Wish List

by Rita Miceli, Parent and Guest Writer for Autism Matters

"My son is now 26 years old. When he turned 18, services available to him dropped off significantly. It was a frightening time for us."

Read about Rita and her son Giaci, and her call to action for the provincial election.

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This article will appear in the upcoming Spring 2022 edition of Autism Matters magazine.

Education Advocacy

Education is a top concern for all parents and caregivers; however, for children on the autism spectrum, education support in the school system is the #1 area of need, according to parents and caregivers.

Autism Ontario believes autistic students (where possible) and their parents/caregivers must be actively engaged throughout the education process as full partners in their education to promote optimal learning across home and school. This means that parents and students (where possible) play an active role, together with educators in all educational decisions. 

Read our Education Position Statement.

Education Support is Key

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In late 2018, Autism Ontario conducted a province-wide survey*, resulting in 10 top areas identified by caregivers and autistic adults. In November 2018 we asked our survey respondents to rate these top ten items in order of priority and these top 5 emerged:

  • #1 Education Support – equitable access to school-aged supports and services.
  • #2 Long Waitlists – for evidence-based services such as early diagnosis, assessment, and funding.
  • #3 Financial Hardship on parents/caregivers for those who must pay out of pocket for supports and services.
  • #4 School Transitions – leaving secondary school represents one of life’s most significant transitions. It can be a challenging time for autistic individuals as services and supports end with few comparable options available for autistic adults.
  • #5 Adult Supports – including post-secondary education pathways, employment opportunities, autism-inclusive housing solutions, and mental health supports.

Learn more about the Top Five Priorities for Autism in Ontario (2020)

*This survey also helped to inform our Investment Recommendations related to the OAP, school years, teens, adults, health, and mental health for the 2022-2023 Ontario Budget to the provincial government. Read Autism Ontario's Pre-Budget Consultation Submission to Minister of Finance (2022).
 

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Notable Education Advocacy-Related Resources