We hope you are all taking care and staying safe this summer. If you do not have air conditioning, here are some tips on how to stay cool. Health Canada also has safety tips for very hot weather.
COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
Content: COVID-19, Mention of needles
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to get vaccinated for COVID-19! Vaccines are safe, effective, and save lives.
Do you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine? We have created a resource list on getting vaccinated, as well as a guide to needle anxiety for neurodivergent people.
Currently, vaccines are available to those 12 and older. Eligibility depends on your province.
Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Content: genocide, residential schools
As Indigenous peoples and settlers continue to grapple with the violent past and present genocide that forms the basis of so-called Canada, we echo calls for solidarity and action on reconciliation and decolonization.
We released two statements in support of #CancelCanadaDay and in solidarity with residential school survivors and all Indigenous peoples.
We hold that reconciliation and decolonization is a disability justice imperative and responsibility for us all.
Content: ableist and racist torture of disabled people
In the USA, a federal appeals court has overturned the Food and Drug Administration’s ban on electric skin shock devices used on children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Autistics United Canada joins disabled activists and organizations around the world in strongly condemning this decision.
Despite decades of public outcry and advocacy to #StopTheShock, these devices continue to be used at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, on residents as young as 9, over 80% Black and Latinx. This practice has been labeled by the United Nations as torture.
The fact that any torture of autistic and otherwise disabled people is continuing to be sanctioned is horrific - and an international community response is needed.
Learn more about what you can do to join the fight here.
Autistic Employment Workshop
On June 4th, organizing members of Autistics United Canada presented a version of our All Brains Are Beautiful workshop to Public Services and Procurement Canada as part of AccessAbility Week.
Our workshop covers topics of neurodiversity, autistic identity and pride, intersectionality, accessibility, and disability justice. For this version focused on employment, we also offered practical tips and strategies for supporting autistic employees and featured testimonies from our members of their experiences and perspectives.
Back in the spring, we completed our first training workshops for new volunteers. Volunteer training consisted of six workshops on topics related to volunteering or organizing AUC such as goal-setting, accessibility, disability justice and accountability.
It is not too late to get involved! If you are autistic and would like to get more involved with Autistics United, please contact us and we can arrange training for you and connect you with our resources!
UN CRPD Consultation on Deinstitutionalization
On June 8th, 2021, Autistics United Canada organizing members participated in a virtual regional consultation on deinstitutionalization held by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Read our submitted written statement here.
CAHS Policy Discussion
From April to June, Autistics United Canada participated in virtual community conversations held by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) on autism. We also submitted a written submission.
This consultation, assigned to the CAHS by the Public Health Agency of Canada, will inform federal policy on autism.
There is still an opportunity to share your voice and perspective! Next week, CAHS is holding Zoom discussions on policy. They are asking attendees for feedback on specific issues and potential policy solutions.
Registration closes TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 14 at midnight ET! Click here to register.
Our #AskingAutistics Canada Survey
National Consultation on Disability Inclusion Action Plan
The Government of Canada is conducting a national consultation on the new Disability Inclusion Action Plan. There are two ways you can provide feedback until August 31, 2021:
1) Complete the online survey
2) Submit a ASL or LSQ video response to the questions by email to Accessible-Canada@hrsdc.gc.ca
Vaccine Peer Support for Autistics in Toronto
Autistics for Autistics Ontario is partnering with the Centre for Independent Living Toronto and the City of Toronto to provide peer support in navigating the vaccine system. If you are an autistic person in Toronto, they have two vaccinated autistic peer navigators who can help you navigate the vaccine access system and prepare for your appointment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with an autistic peer!
International Day of Protest Against ABA
Paid Opportunities for Autistics
We recognize that paid opportunities are often hard to come by for autistics, due to ableist barriers, which in combination with lack of disability financial support, leaves many autistics in financial instability and poverty. We’ll be featuring a selection of paid opportunities for autistics in our quarterly update and newsletter!
If you have a paid opportunity for autistics, please contact us at info@AutisticsUnitedCA.org. We especially welcome autistic-led and disabled-led initiatives.
1) Undergrad students are building a new sensory room at the University of British Columbia. They are looking to interview disabled folks about the design of the space.
You'll receive a $25 gift card for a 1-hour interview conducted online.
Please do NOT share this publicly. They asked us to share this in our closed networks only.
Please contact Stephanie at email@example.com if you're interested!
2) The BC government is putting together a Provincial Accessibility Committee.
Its 11 members will be responsible for “reviewing the regulations as developed by the technical committee” and “advising the Government on standards development and implementation of the regulations.”
View the Job posting here
Application deadline: July 29, 2021
That is all for now! Thank you for continuing to support our work and reading our update!
Autistics United Canada organizing collective