EDMONTON, July 8, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose announced the members of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Working Group, an important first step towards fulfilling the Government of Canada's 2015 Economic Action Plan commitment to develop a plan for a Canadian Autism Partnership.
The Minister of Health will lead this working group and Cynthia Carroll, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) and Executive Director of Autism Nova Scotia act as vice-chair. The ASD Working Group brings together a broad range of stakeholders across Canada, including key autism organizations that are on the front line in providing services and support to those living with autism and their families; health professionals dedicated to care and treatment; and researchers whose discoveries are answering complex questions about ASD.
Members of the ASD Working Group include:
- Cynthia Carroll, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance and Executive Director of Autism Nova Scotia
- Dr. Margaret Clarke, Senior Vice-President, Sinneave Family Foundation
- Jill Farber, Executive Director, Autism Speaks Canada
- Dr. Stelios Georgiades, ASD Researcher, McMaster University
- Warren Greenstone, CEO, Miriam Foundation
- Laurie Mawlam, Executive Director, Autism Canada
- Dr. Stephen Scherer, Director, Centre for Applied Genomics, Hospital for Sick Kids
- Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness
- Dr. Jonathan Weiss, Research Chair, Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment and Care, York University
- Margaret Whelan, Member, CASDA
- Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Co-Director, Autism Research Centre, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
This Working Group has been tasked with consulting stakeholders broadly to develop a plan for a Canadian Autism Partnership. Consultations will address important topics such as information sharing and research, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and ways to support Canadian families affected by ASD.
- The Government of Canada's 2015 Economic Action Plan earmarked $2 million to create an ASD Working Group that will consult with stakeholders on the development of a Canadian Autism Partnership.
- The 2014 Economic Action Plan also committed $15 million over three years to support the Ready, Willing and Able initiative of the Canadian Association for Community Living, in connection with the Canadian ASD Alliance. Once fully implemented, this investment will support up to 1,200 new jobs for persons with developmental disabilities, including ASD.
- An additional $11.4 million over four years to the Sinneave Family Foundation was also announced in the 2014 Economic Action Plan to help create employment opportunities for individuals with ASD by expanding a network of vocational training programs in centres across Canada.
- The Government of Canada invests in autism research to better understand the causes and to find new treatments. Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), autism research has received approximately $39 million in investments between 2006 and 2014.
- Through the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government is building a National Autism Surveillance System to provide reliable estimates on the number of Canadians affected by ASD and to track the number of emerging cases each year.
- The Government of Canada and partners support the Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment and Care Research. Partners include: CIHR, Autism Speaks Canada, the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, NeuroDevNet and the Sinneave Family Foundation.
"Our Government is committed to supporting partnerships that will help Canadians with autism and their families. As Minister of Health I am pleased to lead the work of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Working Group alongside Cynthia Carroll, Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance. The experience and expertise of the working group members and their dedication to making a difference for Canadians and their families, will lead us to real solutions."
Minister of Health
"The Autism Spectrum Disorder Working Group brings together experts from a variety of disciplines to help identify priorities for action on ASD. Canadians can expect the Working Group to consult broadly and engage stakeholders, including those affected by ASD, and to report back on how Canadians of all ages living with ASD can be supported to reach their full potential."
Chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance and Executive Director of Autism Nova Scotia
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Public Health Agency of Canada: Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709