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Miriam Foundation and Pacific Autism Family Network will receive $10,9 funding to help Canadians impacted by autism

Miriam Foundation and Pacific Autism Family Network will receive $10,9 funding  to help Canadians impacted by autism

Government of Canada Invests $10,9 Million in New Venture

(Ottawa, February 28th, 2018): The Miriam Foundation and the Pacific Autism Family Network congratulated the federal government for addressing the longstanding needs of Canadians living with autism and their families by contributing to the Autism-Intellectual Disability National Resource and Exchange Network (AIDE), a new venture of the two organizations.

“Canadians impacted by autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities face the unique challenge of navigating an interdisciplinary and multijurisdictional environment in search of resources and supports,” explained Sergio Cocchia, Chair, Pacific Autism Family Network. “Much of the information that can help support interventions, foster independence, and place and keep Canadians in the work force is not readily available. Furthermore, access to resources and supports vary depending on the region of the country.”

“AIDE will offer credible, reliable and evidence-based resources –tailored to impacted Canadian families and individuals, not academics – and available in a curated online library,” added Warren Greenstone, President and CEO, Miriam Foundation. ”In addition, AIDE will reduce the disparities that Canadians face across the country and offer equitable access regardless of whether you live in Kamloops, Sherbrooke or Halifax.”

The $10,9 million Government of Canada investment will support the development and launch of a national program comprised of a Resource Library, Electronic Asset Maps, and an Online Portal.

The Resource Library will include tool kits comprised of hands-on, information resources tailored to specific subjects like “Teaching Canadians with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities to Read Time” or “Autism and First Responders” and will be provided to individuals with autism, intellectual or developmental disabilities as well as professionals who interact with them.

The Electronic Asset Maps on the other hand, will offer an online inventory of service providers, employment opportunities, available housing options and local programming and events.

The online portal will offer a client profile system where Canadians can input their personal details – including, but not limited to diagnosis, age, needs – and receive curated resources and research based on their profile.

“Our hope,” noted Mr. Cocchia, “is that AIDE will be a catalyst for the creation of a hub-to-hub network of organizations linking the country. It will build on resources and emerging practices throughout the country do that all Canadians my benefit in real life.”

“The exchange will be built on the touch points of “intervene early, intervene often, and intervene across the lifespan and provide Canadians living with autism and intellectual disabilities with opportunities to learn, work and help grow the economy,” stated Mr. Greenstone. “Most importantly they will have a real and fair chance to succeed and to live with dignity.”

The founding partners - the Pacific Autism Family Network and the Miriam Foundation – will initially manage hubs in British Columbia and Quebec and subsequently add four hubs in other regions with a specific focus on Alberta (the Prairies), Ontario, Atlantic Canada and the North. Aide will also be setting up a Board of Directors as well as a set of advisory committees and working groups comprised of Canadian living with autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and organizations who wish to contribute to the growth of the AIDE network. AIDE’s goal is to be self-sustaining with five years.

For more information, please contact:
Lyusil Shubaralyan
Tél. 514 345 1300 # 132 / Fax 514 345 6904

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