Statement on the Formation of an Autism Advisory Panel

This morning, I was proud to stand alongside the Ministers of Health, Education, and Social Services as our Government announced that it is creating an Autism Advisory Panel that will provide advice to the Government across Ministries on how to best support individuals with autism and their families.

Having had the opportunity over the past several weeks to speak with hundreds of families and stakeholders, I was pleased to be able to share their input with the Premier. Alongside my colleague Amy Fee and our friend MP Mike Lake – a champion in the autism community – we discussed the need to consider autism as a lifespan disorder that crosses multiple Ministries. This is exactly what we’re doing today.

The Advisory Panel’s first order of business will be to consider input from families, self-advocates, service providers, and clinicians on how to design a sustainable, needs-based system for the Ontario Autism Program (OAP). These groups will have the opportunity to provide input via a survey, Tele-Town Halls, and through local non-partisan roundtables. This Panel will then provide a recommendation to the Government based on thisinput on achieving this goal.

I am tremendously pleased with today’s announcement from Ministers MacLeod, Thompson, & Elliott, which comes on World Autism Awareness Day. Governments around the world have struggled with getting autism policy right.

By working with families, self-advocates, service providers, and clinicians, we will be able to design a truly world-class set of autism supports.

There is still much work to be done, But today, we are setting ourselves up for success by ensuring that we will be listening and consulting. I look forward to continuing to be part of this important conversation.

Jeremy Roberts, MPP
Ottawa West – Nepean