Our 2022-2023 Annual Report

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Autism Ontario

As we move through the winter season, Autism Ontario remains focused on our mission and the needs of the autistic community. This offers a chance for both reflection on our past achievements and anticipation for future endeavors.

Throughout 2023, Autism Ontario has exemplified innovation and resilience. Responding to evolving needs within the autism community, we expanded our reach through over 42,000 Service Navigation Conversations, offering multilingual support to families and autistic adults. Our commitment to providing comprehensive care coordination as part of AccessOAP has been strong, enhancing the supports available to families across the province. In advocacy, we made impactful strides, including our involvement in a significant human rights case and our ongoing role in collaborating with partner organizations. These initiatives have not only influenced policy but have also directly improved the lives of those in the autism community.

These accomplishments are a testament to the incredible support from our donors, partners, and volunteers. The invaluable contributions and diverse perspectives of the families, children, and adults we serve continue to inspire and drive our mission to create a more supportive and inclusive environment for autism in Ontario.

Together, we are making a difference. Your support this past year has meant: 

  • Service Navigation Conversations – Over 42,000 conversations were conducted, providing extensive support to families across Ontario. This includes specialized support in languages like Mandarin, Arabic, Urdu, Cantonese, Hindi, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Malay, American Sign Language, and Punjabi.
  • Workshops, Webinars, and Events – Hosted over 960 virtual, take-home, and in-person events, including 68 bilingual and 67 French events. 65% of webinar participants reported gaining new knowledge.
  • Over 550 OAP Service providers are listed on the OAP Provider List. Providing a valuable resource to families across the province, seeking a Clinical Supervisor of Applied Behaviour Analysis, Occupational Therapist or Speech Language Pathologist with demonstrated experience/expertise working with autistic children and/or youth.
  • More families reimbursed for March Break and summer funding supports – over 5,000 families in total.
  • Community Care Project – In partnership with various organizations, 3,428 resource kits were distributed to marginalized and racialized autistic individuals and their families across Ontario, Alberta, and Yukon. This project included 7 virtual and in-person workshops, engaged 8 culturally diverse partner organizations, produced 10 bilingual information booklet guides, reached out in 45 languages, and created 21 jobs for autistic adults​.
  • Meaningful advocacy – Our advocacy this year included a significant presentation by our CEO, Margaret Spoelstra, to the Minister of Finance, focusing on critical issues such as service wait times and housing solutions for autistic youth and adults. Additionally, we successfully supported a major human rights case, advocating against discrimination in the autism community.
  • 10 autistic women and non-binary individuals attended a Living Life to the Full mental health promotion course, which provides people with effective tools to manage life’s challenges.
  • 42 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.
  • 5 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.
  • 15 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 more in our 2022-2023 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 50 years. To understand more about the impact of your support, we encourage you to explore our Donor Welcome Package.

Thank you for being an integral part of our journey. Together, we are making a difference in creating 'Best Life, Better World, Making Autism Matter.'