In May 2020, the Pandemic Canadian Autism Needs Assessment Survey (PanCANS) was disseminated, with 1066 respondents across Canada participating. This survey was developed in partnership between Autism Speaks Canada, the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) with the intention to gather information on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on autistic Canadians and their families.

Respondents were asked whether they identified themselves as being on the autism spectrum. They were also asked about their roles in filling out the survey in order to focus the types of questions they were asked. Caregivers were given questions focused on the impact of COVID-19 on their families as a whole and were meant for anyone taking care of autistic people. Advocates were asked very similar questions but instead of focusing on family, it focused on the person themselves and their experience, with the primary intention being to capture mainly, but not necessarily exclusively, autistic self-advocates. Respondents were also allowed to answer both sets of questions if they identified themselves as both caregivers and advocates. Learn more about the results by clicking here.

See timeline report of the COVID-19 pandemic globally and across Canada