Autistics 4 Autistics (A4A) is a collective of autistic adults, advocating for reform to Ontario’s governmental and non-governmental approach to autism funding and services. We are self-advocates — meaning that neither our parents nor service providers advocate “for” us. We are proudly autistic and united in supporting all autistics in the province on the issues that impact our community.
Autistic Self Advocacy in Ontario
A4A was formed in early 2017 by autistic activists in Ontario. For too long, autistics have been excluded from input into Provincial decision-making — and mostly invisible in media coverage. We are changing that and we hope you will join us!
Reform the Funding Model in Ontario
Public funding in Ontario has been dominated by one method of therapy that targets a specific age group: ABA/IBI for young children. This approach has proven devastating for all autistics in Ontario. We advocate a twofold approach for reform:
1. Restructure the Ontario Autism Plan. Programs for education, job training, housing and other supports are vastly underfunded under the current Provincial budget. We call on the Province to study best practices in other jurisdictions and consult with autistics and others who have been left out of the process (such as business, universities, disability rights groups and local governments), to restructure the OAP.
2. Defund ABA/IBI. It is time for the Province to phase ABA/IBI out and to replace it with programs that are effective and respectful towards autistic children. We encourage all MPPs to learn about alternatives to ABA and end its funding for this regressive approach to autism and disability. ABA should not be provincially funded in any form.
Please read our Statement on the Ontario Autism Program for more information.
The autistic community is strong and it’s an exciting time to get involved. If you are autistic and would like to connect with A4A, please join our Facebook page and Twitter feed. There you can find and share info about meetups, political activism and other events and resources throughout autistic communities provincially. Also, check out our Resources page for other groups and associations across a range of intersectionalities.
A4A is a part of the neurodiversity and disability rights movements. We ally ourselves with causes that improve the lives of disabled people; for example, the proposed Canadians with Disabilities Act (CDA) for a barrier-free Canada for all persons with disabilities. We also align on various issues with other autistic self-advocacy organizations, locally and in other provinces.
To learn more about issues affecting autistics in Ontario, ask us. We have members specializing in policy, education, communication, intersectional identities, parenthood, disability rights/law, youth issues, police and community relations, employment and more.