c/o Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, 199 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5L 1A9, (647) 496–4688

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2024

Autism Parents to Press Ministers for Progress

Marking Autism Awareness Month With a Call For Action

The Ontario Autism Coalition (OAC) returns to Queen’s Park today to mark World Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month, and to meet with MPPs and ministry representatives once again to ask for action. While government messaging paints a rosy picture, the reality of autism services on the ground is starkly different. We cannot call the Ontario Autism Program (OAP ) “world-class” when 80% of registered children wait for critical core services.

Similarly, claims that special education supports are adequate rings hollow when so many of our children can’t access an education assistant. Beyond classroom supports, the OAC will again raise the issue of basic safety. Autistic students often elope from classrooms, sometimes off school property altogether. The OAC will again ask the government to pass Bill 74, the Missing Persons Amendment Act.

We appreciate the initiative taken by the Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services to engage in discussions with our community representatives. It is also heartening to note the increase in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) budget this year. However, while we acknowledge these positive steps, what we urgently need now is concrete action on access to core services.

It’s disheartening that during a month dedicated to raising awareness about autism, we are still grappling with significant barriers to accessing essential services and supports for autistic individuals and their families, at any stage of life. The current situation is untenable, and urgent steps are required to address these longstanding issues.

Happy World Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month.

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For Further Information Contact:
Alina Cameron, President, (647) 496–4688

The Ontario Autism Coalition is a non-profit Ontario corporation dedicated to advocacy
and political action on behalf of people with autism.
www.ontarioautismcoalition.com