RE:  AODA Alliance Submission to Healthcare Standards Committee  

Toronto, Ontario, August 16, 2021
RE:  AODA Alliance Submission to Healthcare Standards Committee  


The Honourable Rayond Cho  
Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility 
College Park, 5th Floor 
777 Bay Street
Toronto, ON 
M5G 2C 

RE:  AODA Alliance Submission to Healthcare Standards Committee  

Dear Minister Cho,  

Autism Ontario is pleased to support the recommendations contained in the AODA Alliance's Finalized Recommendation to the Healthcare Standards Committee. We find it contains many common-sense recommendations that would improve not only the interactions of persons with autism with the healthcare system, but all disabled individuals, their caregivers, and families.  

We are especially appreciative of the recommendations that specifically touch the lives of autistic people, including those that pay special attention to the potential for sensory overload, effective communications for those who may be non-verbal or who have other communications deficits, and the recommendation for dedicated nursing staff in each ward who would be trained to assist patients with complex needs.  

In giving our support, we would feel we would be remiss if we did not include our thoughts regarding the information technologies that are at the core of some of the recommendations. Autism Ontario knows through our own experience that not all technologies are created equal and not everyone has equal access to technology. Autism Ontario’s 2020 Readiness for School Report is quite pointed about the issue. It cited, for example, that Northern Ontario Residents were eight times more likely than Toronto residents to report internet bandwidth as a barrier to online learning. The report highlighted in our view the importance of not relying on online methods as the sole means of outreach in remote and underserviced locales.   

However, at the same time we also acknowledge that there is much that is good with this document and its recommendations and that is why we choose to support it.  


Margaret Spoelstra  

Executive Director, Autism Ontario  


Copy: David Lepofsky, Director AODA Alliance