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:
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.
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
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."
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
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).
Notable Education Advocacy-Related Resources
- Autism Ontario Response to PPM-81 Draft for Consultation - School-Based Rehabilitation and Community-Based Clinical Services (Autism Ontario, 2022)
- Families in Flux: Findings from the 2021 Ontario Autism Caregiver Survey on Education, Service Access, and Well-Being in the Context of COVID-19 (Laurier Autism Research Consortium, 2022)
- Autism Ontario Responds to the Ministry of Education's AODA K-12 Education Standards Report (Autism Ontario, 2021)
- Autism Ontario Responds to the Recommendations by the Transitions Sub-Committee for Accessible Transitions for Students with Disabilities in Kindergarten to Grade 12 (Autism Ontario, 2021)
- Readiness for the Safe Return to School: Findings from the 2020 Autism Ontario Education Survey (Autism Ontario, 2020)