Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Ontario Autism Coalition Prepares for Ontario Election 2007
August 13, 2007
The Ontario Autism Coalition (\'OAC\') is a grassroots organization with over 600 active members throughout the Province of Ontario. Our members are connected to thousands of families and supporters affected by autism. The OAC is determined to ensure the delivery of services and supports to families and individuals with Autism in the Province of Ontario. As political parties in the Province of Ontario prepare for a Provincial election in October 2007, the OAC seeks commitment from all Provincial parties to the following platform planks, which will improve the quality of life for over 10,000 pre-school and school age children and their families:
1) Allow IBI instructor therapists currently working within the AIP entry into the school system so that scientifically valid, supervised ABA can be implemented. Children receiving intensive ABA through the AIP and students attending school should receive the same quality of ABA services.
2) Eliminate the waitlist in the AIP and fully fund services for all children with Autism—from the mild to severe end of the Autism Spectrum.
3) Develop a formal credentialing system and a proper training and recruitment system for the implementation of ABA to ensure accountability and capacity within the system.
\"Under the current Liberal government, funding for Autism programs has gone unspent, waitlists have ballooned, school-age children were denied scientifically valid ABA models and Autism-related court cases have dragged on at taxpayer expense,\" says Susan Fentie, one of the OAC co-founders. \"Parents of pre-school children with Autism continue to go broke paying for treatment out of their own pocket while their children sit indefinitely on the waitlist. Parents of school-aged children encounter institutional road blocks as they try to secure an appropriate education for their children, and services for teens and adults on the Autism spectrum are either non-existent or inconsistent in terms of quality,\" she added.
\"Today we seek commitment from all political parties to the OAC platform to address Autism issues. The OAC will be pressing all of the Provincial political Parties for their commitment to these planks now, and monitoring the performance of the parties after the election to ensure they live up to their commitments, as the current Liberal Government and all of its predecessors have consistently failed to do.\"
The OAC will be issuing further statements, hosting press conferences and organizing events during the election campaign to draw attention to these important issues. To find out more, media may contact any members of our leadership team for interviews or comments at the numbers listed below.
For further information:
Laura & Bruce McIntosh
Mary Beth Rocheleau
Susan & Dan Fentie