Press Release – Minister Bergen addresses Autism Leadership Summit: w/video

OTTAWA, March 30, 2015 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development, delivered opening remarks at the Canadian Autism Leadership Summit. This event, organized by the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance, brings together key stakeholders from across the country to discuss the needs of Canadians living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), current autism research and services.

Emphasizing the Harper Government’s commitment to supporting Canadian families, Minister Bergen highlighted measures implemented to help Canadians with disabilities, specifically those with ASD, get vocational training and access to employment opportunities.

Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government is providing $15 million over three years to the Canadian Association for Community Living for its Ready, Willing & Able initiative that helps employers hire and support youth and working-age adults with developmental disabilities, including people with ASD. The Government is also providing $11.4 million over four years to the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada to expand vocational training programs for people with ASD. Once fully implemented, it is expected that these initiatives will benefit over 2,400 Canadians across the country.

  • April 2 marks World Autism Awareness Day.
  • In recent years, the Harper Government has taken concrete action to support programs for people with disabilities:
    • With an investment of $40 million a year, the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (OF) has helped almost 40,000 Canadians with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment or self‑employment.
    • Since 2008, Canadians have registered close to 100,000 Registered Disability Savings Plans and have benefitted from over $1 billion in bonds and grants deposited by the federal government.
    • With an investment of $222 million per year in the provinces and territories, Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities are the single largest federal government investment in helping Canadians with disabilities get jobs.

“Autism Spectrum Disorders affect families and individuals in very different ways. We’ve made progress when it comes to understanding autism. As a Government, we’re committed to ensuring this progress continues. That’s why we’ve made substantial investments into research and into programming to ensure that Canadians of all abilities are able to participate in and contribute to their communities. We want all Canadians to have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development

“Our objective is to begin a national conversation to better support individuals and families living with ASD in Canada. The Summit will review the recent National Needs Assessment Survey and provide leaders with a better understanding of ASD surveillance across the country. We are pleased that Minister Bergen will be part of this important discussion.”
Cynthia Carroll, Chair, Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance

Source: CNW Newswitre Canada: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1510011/minister-bergen-addresses-autism-leadership-summit-and-highlights-harper-government-support-for-canadians-living-with-autism-spectrum-disorders