Welcome! If you are reading this, you are interested in meeting with your Member of Parliament (MP) to help make sure that autistic views are heard by our government and that autistic self-advocacy groups will be consulted by the government when it makes autism policy.
Currently, the government does not meaningfully consult with autistic people about autism policy. This is wrong and we are going to change that. We are following the model of the disability rights movement: Nothing About Us Without Us.
This is a guide on how to:
Find out who your MP is
Contact your MP to make an appointment
Prepare for your meeting
Present your talking points during the meeting (scripts included!)
Follow up with your MP after the meeting
In-person meetings make a difference! We are meeting with MPs at their offices because MPs do not tend to respond to email or messages. They receive many emails and calls per day on many issues. They tend to only listen and take action on issues following an in-person meeting. Emails are most effective after establishing that in-person contact. One-on-one relationship building with your MP is key!
Main goals of the meetings 1. To make us real to them. Most MPs have only met neurotypical service providers and parents, but have never really talked to #actuallyautistic people. 2. To convince the government that the mainstream lobby groups (service providers and parents) do not have the sole knowledge or vision to be directing the government’s autism policy. 3. To convince the government that they must begin to meet with autistic self-advocacy groups before making autism policy.
We are here to support each other! Meeting with MPs can be a new and stressful experience for many of us. If you have any questions or concerns at any step of the process, or would like support or advice, please let us know! We are here to help each other as autistic people fighting collectively for our future.
Thank you for reaching out to your MP. Every visit makes a difference!!
— Autistic Advocacy Coalition of Canada (A4A Ontario, Autistics United Canada, and London Autistics Standing Together)
1. Find out who your MP is 2. Contact your MP to make an appointment 3. Prepare for your meeting 4. Present your talking points during the meeting 5. Follow up with your MP after the meeting