Below you’ll find some of the work we are doing to bring national attention to autism.

Key Publications

Click HERE for to open a sorted table of all CASDA publications in a new tab or click below for specific documents.

Our Current Projects

Key Publications

Roadmap to a National Autism Strategy

Launched in Spring 2020, CASDA has developed a proposed timeline for the government to work together with the autism community to develop and implement a robust National Autism Strategy.
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Blueprint for a National Autism Strategy

Launched in Spring 2019, the Blueprint for a National Autism Strategy calls on the federal government to take a leadership role in supporting autistic Canadians, as well as their families and caregivers.
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FAQ Documents

Over the years CASDA has created a number of FAQs to answer your questions. Below you will see a comprehensive list of our published FAQs over the years and a link to learn more about how CASDA is working to answer your questions. Click here to learn more.

May 2020 | September 2019 | April 2019

Autism Language Guide

Due to the large impact that language can have in shaping our understanding of the world around us, and how it influences how people perceive themselves and others, CASDA has published an Autism Language Guide. Based on the literature and the preference of the autistic members of CASDA,  we have created a Guide on Preferred Language for members of the autism community, ie. policymakers, researchers, health care workers and caregivers.

Click here to learn more about the Autism Language Guide.

Click here to download the Autism Language Guide.


Over the course of the years, CASDA has created a number of Infographics highlighting key information in a more accessible manner. Below you will find links to our infographics from over the years. Simply click on the name of the infographic and a new page will open with the image.

Where is the Government on a NAS? Outlines funding and actions by the Canadian Government that are in line with the values of a National Autism Strategy.
PanCans Survey Highlights the findings of the Pandemic Canadian Needs Assessment (PanCANS) survey, of which gathered information on the impacts of COVID-19 on Autistic Canadians and their families.
KBHN-CASDA Policy Working Groups Provides a brief overview of the KBHN-CASDA Policy Working Groups, a joint project between KBHN and CASDA established this year.
Timeline of Autism in Canada Outlines federal initiatives and partnerships in relation to Autism since 2006.
Snapshot of Projects Provides an overview of CASDA’s key past projects (the Blueprint to a National Autism Strategy, the National Needs Assessment Survey and the Canadian Autism Partnership Project).

Budget Consultation Submission for the 2021 Federal Budget

On August 7th, 2020, CASDA published a written submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance for their pre-budget consultations. These will be tabled in the House of Commons in December 2020 and will be taken into consideration by the Minister of Finance in preparation of devising the 2021 Federal Budget.

In our written submission, CASDA focused on the next steps in developing a National Autism Strategy as outlined by the Roadmap to a National Autism Strategy. You can access the full document here.

2021 KBHN-CASDA Policy Development Practicum

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Following the success of the 2020 KBHN-CASDA Policy Working Groups, CASDA and the Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN) have partnered again for the 2021 KBHN-CASDA Policy Development Practicum. The fellows will learn to understand the linkages between research and policy through working closely with CASDA members, engage in a policymaking process on the priority areas for a National Autism Strategy and utilize research to improve policy development implementation and evaluation.

Last year’s KBHN-CASDA Policy Working Groups were lead by CASDA Board Members who co-chair this work with graduate student trainees, a format of which the 2021 KBHN-CASDA Policy Development Practicum will follow. These Policy Working Groups were responsible for providing expert and stakeholder perspectives on a series of policy briefs. Each of the five groups – covering an area of the Blueprint, work to identify key Canadian policy levers to advance a National Autism Strategy. These Policy Working Groups were formed by an open call to CASDA members with lived experience along with key experts and KBHN members. Following the conclusion of the Policy Working Groups in fall 2020, a series of policy briefs were written and collated into a Policy Compendium. You can read the full Compendium and view our online tool by clicking here

Pandemic Canadian Autism Needs Assessment (PanCANS) Results

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Earlier this summer, in addition to our previous leadership in curating resources for Autistic Canadians and their families when the COVID-19 crisis first hit, CASDA in partnership with Autism Speaks Canada, and the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART) developed a survey to shed light on the unique impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic had has on Autistic Canadians.

Disseminated in May 2020, the PanCANS survey was quickly received by the Autism community, and in no time at all, 1066 individuals across Canada participated. With 21% of respondents identifying as Autistic individuals, the survey focused on the individual experience. Information gathered from this survey will be used to inform CASDA policy briefs.

Click here to view the PanCANS Results Infographic.

Canadian Disability Coalition Leadership Group

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As a member of the Disability Coalition Leadership Group, a group of over 27 disability organizations across Canada, CASDA has co-led various initiatives, including the data coordination initiative and drafted a pan-disability coalition proposal to the federal government.

Public Health Agency of Canada Advocacy

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CASDA continues to advocate and work with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) regarding the federal government’s National Autism Strategy. During these meetings, CASDA has expressed its commitment to holding the government accountable to its actions and reiterated our position as a partner with the federal government to guide the development of a National Autism Strategy in various ways.

Dental Policy Forums

In partnership with the Canadian Society for Disability and Oral Health.

Click here for more information in this ongoing partnership with the Canadian Society for Disability and Oral Health

Employment Scan Service Systems for Autistic Canadians

CASDA is doing an employment scan of all employment programs/services that autistic people are eligible for across Canada to identify gaps in current government support. Starting August 2020, we will be sending this questionnaire to both government representatives and organizations receiving funding from these programs.

Developing Distinct Indigenous Autism Strategies

We are working with AFN and our Indigenous members to support their development of parallel strategies.

CAOT Professional Issue Forum

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Held on May 7th, 2020 at the first-ever Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy 2020 Virtual National Conference, the Forum focused on the inconsistencies in health/social services available for Autistic Canadians. With presentations and integrated periods of delegate engagement opportunities, attendees started to identify implementation steps for a national strategy stemming from this national engagement.

The primary objective of the Forum was to begin co-creating a shared occupational therapy vision focusing on four different communities: occupational therapists, autistic individuals, colleagues and policymakers. Attendees included 57 delegates, with over a quarter having lived experience.

Next steps include a joint policy paper written by CAOT and CASDA.

Spring 2020 Webinar Series

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With the postponement of the in-person annual Canadian Autism Leadership Summit due to COVID-19 restrictions, a series of webinars were published between April-May in lieu of the Summit (now occurring in October virtually) which are freely available online. These spoke about CASDA’s direction and vision and engaged the Canadian Human Rights Commission, with whom CASDA is partnering to develop indicators for domestic monitoring of the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In this series, CASDA also engaged key political figures who have been championing a National Autism Strategy to gather their perspectives.