Bringing the Community Together
TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2018 /CNW/ - Autism Speaks Canada today launched the country's first national, multi-faceted virtual platform that is intended to revolutionize the way people in the autism community interact with each other. Designed to bring the community together, Autism Speaks Canada Connect will foster collaboration, improve navigation, consolidate resources and provide mentorship opportunities like never before.
"What began as a desire to consolidate information and resources has evolved into something bigger. Regardless of age, stage, need or geographic location, Connect's comprehensive offering has the potential to service every Canadian impacted by autism," said Jill Farber, executive director of Autism Speaks Canada. "I look forward to Connect being embraced by individuals, families, clinical professionals, service providers, researchers, service organizations and military families, from coast to coast to coast."
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects an estimated 1 in 66 Canadian children and youth, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. As the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in Canada, it is imperative that the comprehensive needs of the community are addressed. Using innovative technology, Connect:
- Ensures access to reliable information and services throughout the life span
- Is free to use and operates in both French and English
- Addresses the needs of diverse and underserved communities (e.g. military families, rural communities)
- Provides a platform to discuss topics of interest and build community
- Acts as a meeting place where individuals, families, researchers, service providers and educators can collaborate
- Creates opportunities to find and become a mentor
- Receives ongoing monitoring by the Autism Response Team (ART), which provides support, tools and resources for individuals and families
"Autism Speaks Canada Connect offers national reach, easy access, and relevant content for individuals and families, across the life span," said Dr. Jonathan Weiss, York Research Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disability Mental Health. "Supporting their success will only happen when they are connected to others in meaningful ways, and the Connect platform has the potential to drive this process forward."
Connect was made possible through the generosity of BMO, a Canadian leader and generous supporter of projects that facilitate collaboration across all sectors, disciplines and geographic boundaries, True Patriot Love, who has generously supported the development of Connect's military-specific content and the generous support of donors and corporate sponsors who believe in the vision of this exciting initiative.
Visit https://connect.autismspeaks.ca/home to start engaging with the autism community now.
About Autism Speaks Canada
Autism Speaks Canada is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families by supporting and working with community partners; enhancing resources and services; increasing understanding, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Autism Speaks Canada has invested over $7.4 million into scientific research and funded $4.4 million in developing programs in communities across Canada. To find resources, join a fundraising walk or make a donation, go to www.autismspeaks.ca.
About Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder, or autism, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Causes include a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. An estimated 1 in 66 children and youth are on the autism spectrum in Canada.
SOURCE Autism Speaks Canada
For further information: Media Contact: Carrie Habert, [email protected], 416-362-6227, ext. 208