We would all like to congratulate Matthew Jason Dever, an active A4A member from rural eastern Ontario for becoming a part of the Ontario Government’s Consulting Panel on Autism Policy!
Matthew is an autistic self-advocate, a web and graphic designer and a father of five children, including an autistic teen, tween and adult. He has also done federal advocacy with other members of A4A.
Education is a top focus for Matthew, who strongly supports inclusion-first models of education, where all kids are full supported in mainstream classes. We are very glad to know that Matthew is advocating so strongly on this issue, as an informed parent and a person who has been through Ontario schools. We know that school exclusions lead to life exclusions–and it is time for Ontario to catch up with inclusion in schools.
Matthew will be serving on the panel with other stakeholders from the community and is one of two autistic self-advocates to serve on the committee. This is the first time that autistic self-advocates have ever served on the panel and it is something to celebrate!
As the panel gets ready to convene, we are preparing a report to the government with our full recommendations for a practical approach to policy that is based on autism acceptance. We will be publishing it here on our blog in the next several weeks.
The time is now to move forward and make meaningful changes, for fairness and equality. As studies have shown, inclusion lifts everyone and we are all better for it. We are proud to be a part of the road to inclusion and proud of Matthew’s work on the panel!