As the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are changing colour, we welcome the change of season and all that it brings. We hope the coming months bring you and your family moments of reflection, connection, and celebration.
The past year presented Autism Ontario with opportunities to explore new and exciting ways to remain engaged with families, autistic adults, and community partners. Our online offerings grew exponentially in response to the pandemic, we transitioned from a chapter model to a regional model to better serve our families, we became AccessOAP partners together with Accerta, Healthcare 365, and McMaster University to deliver province-wide Care Coordination services for the Ontario Autism Program, and we continued to advocate alongside autistic children and adults.
None of these accomplishments could have happened without the tremendous support we’ve been honoured to receive from our donors, partners, and volunteers, and the diverse families, children, and adults who help us achieve our mission of creating a supportive and inclusive Ontario for autism.
Together, we are making a difference. Your support this past year has meant:
- More families served – over 10,300 families, an increase of 17% over the past year.
- More Francophone families served – over 330 families, an increase of 26% over the past year.
- More families reimbursed for March Break and summer funding supports – over 5,300 families in total.
- Greater community connection – through language-based, culturally specific supports and opportunities for non-English speaking families, as well as collaborations with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and BIPOC communities.
- Meaningful advocacy – we partnered with Laurier Autism Research Consortium on their Families in Flux: Findings from the 2021 Ontario Autism Caregiver Survey report and responded to Policy/Program Memorandum No. 81, Provision of Health Support Services in School Settings by making recommendations for School-Based Rehabilitation and Community-Based Clinical Services.
- 321 caregivers and autistic adults attended a Living Life to the Full mental health promotion course, which provides people with effective tools to manage life’s challenges.
- 50 parents and caregivers of autistic youth attended a Journey to Adulthood program, which gives participants tools and resources to help their child during the transition from youth to adulthood.
- 4 recipients were awarded the Jeanette Holden Educational Scholarship for siblings of a person on the autism spectrum who are entering the first year of a post-secondary program.
- 10 recipients were awarded the Eleanor Ritchie Education Scholarship for autistic individuals entering their first year of post-secondary education.
- 25 recipients were reimbursed thanks to the Building Brighter Futures Fund, allowing autistic adults to pursue their personal interests.
You can read about these accomplishments and much more in our 2021-2022 Annual Report.
None of this important work would have been possible without you. You belong to an extended family of autistic self-advocates, families, caregivers, friends, and supporters, all dedicated to a common cause—to create a supportive and inclusive Ontario for autism.
Your donations help our staff and volunteers do all of this and so much more. With your generosity and kindness, we will carry on the important work we have been doing for the last 49 years. As we get ready to celebrate Giving Tuesday on November 29, 2022, we invite you to join us in celebrating the joy of generosity and donate to Autism Ontario to help us achieve our vision of Best Life, Better World, Making Autism Matter!
To learn more about how your contribution helps autistic people shine even brighter, download our Donor Welcome Package.
We wish you and your loved ones all the best this upcoming holiday season.