The Canadian Autism Leadership Summit (CALS) is a yearly gathering for thought leaders, including Autistic people, support providers, and policymakers, to share ideas, experiences, and discuss gaps in policy that impact Autistic people living in Canada, and their families, across the country. CALS is organized primarily by volunteers who are dedicated to creating a memorable and engaging event.

Furthermore, CALS is lead by:

  • The Lived Experience Committee—a fully Autistic Committee, guided by Autistic board members of CASDA. This Lived Experience Committee has reviewed and selected all submitted proposals to #CALS2022, so that this event is Autistic-friendly!
  • The Summit Planning Committee (pictured below), responsible for the broader organization of the event.

If you are interested in getting involved and making your mark on CALS, consider joining the CALS2023 Planning Committee. Simply e-mail us at with a paragraph (200 words max) about why you are interested and what skills you bring to the group. We look forward to working with you to make CALS2023 the best yet!

2022 Summit Planning Committee

Auva Zarandi (she/her)
BHSc Honours (c) in
Child Health Sciences at
McMaster University

Corey Walker (he/him)
Autistic self-advocate,
Public Speaker and
EmploymentWorks Facilitator at
Pacific Autism Family Network

Cyndi Gerlach (she/her)
Mom, Wife, Advocate, Self Advocate

Dana Bernick (she/her)
Special Projects Coordinator at

Elizabeth Plouffe (she/her)
Founder and Chief Minion of
Spero Careers Canada

Emily Smith van Beek (she/her) Communications Specialist at

Franziska Morin (she/her)
Executive Coordinator at

Jonathan Lai (he/him)
Executive Director at

Kathi Cosgrove (she/her)
 Program Director at
Autism Speaks Canada

Kim Ward (she/her)
Executive Director at
Society for Treatment of Autism (STA)

Maddy Dever (they/them)
President of
Autistic Bridge Inc.

Orly Fruchter
Manager of Neurodiverse Initiatives at
The Azrieli Foundation

Rakhee Chowdhury (she/her)
Communications Manager at

Rebekah Kintzinger (she/her)
Autistic advocate,
Board Member at