ACT's Archived News

April News Round-Up

Posted April 27, 2017

What’s Next for Parent Support in B.C.? Parent Questions for MCFD

ACT continues to receive questions from parents and professionals confused about the new service the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD ) is planning as of July 1, 2017. This service will replace those ACT has been providing under contract to MCFD since 2005, including the individualized information and support function provided by ACT’s Information Officers and administration of the Registry of Autism Service Providers.

ACT has requested that MCFD provides details of their plan directly to the autism community, to enhance the transparency of this process. The lack of information makes it difficult for families to ask questions of election candidates about whether they support this initiative.

The results of the independent survey Identifying Need, Delivering Service – The Autism Community Satisfaction Survey Report’ commissioned by ACT and released in April indicates that only 9% of the 1600 respondents support a move of services to MCFD. ACT is especially worried that many vulnerable families, aboriginal and immigrant families in particular, may decide not to approach this new service because it is part of MCFD.

For a list of questions from the autism community and more background on this issue see Parent Questions for MCFD and ACT’s Transitioning Information page.

ACT will update the autism community via ACT’s Facebook page when information becomes available. In the meantime, ACT is maintaining services and welcomes calls from parents, adults with autism and professionals.

Donate to ACT & Support Free Resources for the Autism and Special Needs Community

In June 2017, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is ending funding for a community-based contract to support families with children with ASD.

While ACT is disappointed at no longer being able to provide individualized support to families, our commitment to the autism community remains strong. ACT’s online, community-focused, information and training offer unique evidence-informed resources for the autism community nationally and internationally.

We are seeking sponsorship and donations to support our free online resources. These include Autism Videos @ ACT and the Autism Information Database.

For more information on how to support ACT’s work and to donate see

Participating in the Political Process on May 9th

There are many organizations that have put together campaign information focused on the needs of families in British Columbia. See a comprehensive list at First Call BC.

Inclusion BC has created an information and participation guide to empower British Columbians with disabilities to vote. Download the guide here.

Report from CAN Family Festival

Despite the cold wind blowing off the Burrard Inlet, there was a great deal of warmth at the ACT Information Table and across the CAN Family Festival event on April 9th – though many of us were wishing that Autism Awareness Month was in July! ACT staff enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new parents. While we are saddened that we will not be able to provide individualized support after June 30, we handed out our two latest publications: ACT’s 2017 Event Calendar and the 2017 Autism Videos @ ACT Guide.

CAN Volunteers Receive CAN/ACT Training Scholarshipsimg_560X250

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the CAN/ACT Volunteer Training Scholarship! Fariba Davoody, Ricky Tsang, Angelo Graffos and Maria Stolyarova were selected for the amazing level of support that they have provided to CAN programs as volunteers. This scholarship will provide each recipient with a $500 credit to be used towards registering for ACT’s live events. Find out more about the CAN/ACT Volunteer Training Scholarship

ACT’s Board of Directors is Seeking a New Treasurer – Volunteer Opportunity

ACT- Autism Community Training’s current treasurer will be stepping down this summer. We are seeking qualified candidates with a CPA designation and, ideally, experience in serving as a board member for a not-for-profit society.

The role of Board Treasurer is to provide oversight and provide the Board of Directors with guidance in maintaining their fiduciary responsibility to the society. ACT employs a chartered professional chartered accountant who completes all accounting procedures and prepares monthly financial statements; we have recently sailed through our 12th annual audit with a clean opinion. The workload for the Board Treasurer would average about 2-3 hours a month, with meetings being held about 4-5 times a year.

If you are interested in this opportunity to join a dynamic not-for-profit, with a commitment to building our considerable autism information and training resources, nationally and internationally, please send your resume to Deborah Pugh, Executive Director at

Upcoming ACT Conferences

The Focus on Research Conference this Friday and Saturday is sold out (there are spots available for web streaming) but ACT is hosting five training opportunities this Spring and Summer with more booked for the rest of the year. Register soon to ensure your seat and take advantage of early bird rates.

A special thanks to our presenters and volunteers who make it possible for ACT to continue providing excellent training opportunities at a reasonable cost. 

Applications of CBT to Address Emotional Functioning in Youth with ASDimg_265X130

July 24 & 25 – Vancouver
Jonathan Weiss, Ph.D., CPsych, Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research, York University

A professional development opportunity for those who are involved in the mental health field and have a background in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. View Event +

Introduction to ASD – Practical Applications – POPARD


July 31 – Aug. 4 – Surrey
Aug. 14 – 18 – Vancouver

Kenneth Cole, Ph.D., RPsych

“Amazing and useful information. I wish our whole staff could attend!!”

View Surrey Event +
View Vancouver Event + 

Cutting Edge Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skillsimg_265X130

Aug. 10 & 11 – Sidney
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP (Boston)

I learned strategies I can use with all of my students right away.”

View Event +

Integrating ABA Methods in Schools: Supporting School Aged Children


Aug. 24 & 25 – Vancouver
In person & via live web streaming
Richard Stock, Ph.D., BCBA-D

“Powerful and easy to implement IEP suggestions”
(CEUs for BCBAs and BCaBAs are available. See event page for details).

View Event +

New MCFD-funded Event Bursaries for Parents of Children with ASD

MCFD has provided ACT with funding for a bursary program for parents and caregivers of children with autism to attend ACT events at reduced registration rates ($35 a day*) until March 31, 2018. Seats will be filled on a first come, first registered basis. Each parent is eligible to receive one in-person event bursary up until March 31, 2018. Additional bursaries are available to register for web streamed events.

*Learn more about how to register using the MCFD event bursary program.

Two New Free Videos – Autism Videos @ ACT

ACT added two new videos to Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) in April. There are over 25 free online videos now available. Visit AVA for evidence-informed presentations on a wide-range of practical, autism- related topics aimed at improving the quality of life of individuals with ASD and their families.

img_560X250 Family Quality of Life and ASD Funding in BC: Opportunities for Culturally Responsive Research

Grace Iarocci, PhD, R.Psych & Emily Gardiner, PhD, BCCH
Drs. Iarocci and Gardiner present findings from a study in which participants reported on their satisfaction with available funds and resources for autism in BC. This research revealed important insights into the strengths and challenges associated with the BC funding model, as perceived by service users. The video concludes with a discussion on the implications for provincial policy and practice, and strategies for including under-served families in research. Watch Video img_560X250

Building a System of Culturally Sensitive Family Centred Positive Behavior Support

Parbs Bains, M.Ed., BCBA & Noreen Dunn, M.Ed., BCBA
As professionals working in culturally diverse communities in Metro Vancouver, Parbs Bains and Noreen Dunn are part of a working group on how to best deliver culturally-sensitive services to the many families for whom English is a second language. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for families and their children by empowering families to use culturally acceptable Positive Behaviour Support strategies effectively. This presentation describes a summary of the group’s work. Watch Video 

A Parent’s Handbook – French and Japanese Translations Ready Soon!img_185X240

Since last summer, ACT has been working on a project on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, translating A Parent’s Handbook: Your Guide to Autism Programsinto eight languages. French and Japanese translations of the handbook will be ready the first week of May. The handbook is already available in Chinese, Korean and Spanish; they can all be found on ACT’s website. ACT is working with teams of proof-readers and translators on the remaining translations into Farsi (Persian), Arabic and Punjabi , they will be available by June 30th. See MCFD’s original News Release for details of this project. View all translations +

Free SFU Camp & Parent Workshop – Registration is Open!

Join the 6th Annual SFU Social Science Camp – a FREE, fun, and educational camp for children with and without ASD. At SFU Burnaby campus on July 15 & 22 (9am-3pm), the camp will offer a mix of social games and an opportunity to participate in research using fun activities. This year’s theme is “Celebrating our special interests and skills” and all children will receive a SFU Social Science Camp T-shirt! Parents can also attend a FREE workshops while children attend the camp. Spots are limited so sign up today.

blank Special Needs Community Events in B.C.

What to know what is happening in the autism/special needs community in B.C.? Browse ACT’s Special Needs Community Events Calendar

Post your community events, and reach a new audience. This listing is a popular part of ACT’s monthly newsletter, which reaches over 7,300 individual, schools and agencies each month.

Post-Secondary Opportunities: Upgrade your Skills

Looking to upgrade your skills or seeking professional certification? ACT lists B.C. Post-Secondary Programs for Professionals on our website. Capilano University and Douglas College are taking applications for programs that begin in September 2017. 

RASP Updates for April 2017blank

A New RASP Category – Supervised Occupational Therapist

The new Supervised Occupational Therapist category for the RASP has been approved by MCFD and came into effect April 1, 2017. For details, see the ACT website:

Sharp Increase in RASP Applications and Approvals

12 RASP professionals have been added or had their status updated since March 30, 2017. As of April 26, 2017, there are 696 professionals on the Registry for Autism Service Providers:

Compared to the first four months of 2016, applications and approvals are up significantly in 2017, in part because ACT has urged new applicants to apply before May 1 (see Reminder below). ACT has received a 73% increase in the number of applications submitted, and a 47% increase in the numbers approved. We are working hard to process applicants quickly to ensure that families have access to as many qualified professionals as possible during the transition to MCFD management of the RASP.

Behavior Consultants (Category B –Supervised)

  • Cherry Truong – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Vancouver

Speech-Language Pathologists (Non-Supervised)

  • Abbey Massar – Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission

Speech-Language Pathologists (Supervised)

  • Melanie Carrick – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam
  • David Herb –Vancouver
  • Andrea Rushton – Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Vancouver

Occupational Therapists

  • Jennifer Kennedy – Campbell River, Comox, Comox Valley, Denman Island, Hornby Island, Quadra Island, Tofino, Ucluelet, Victoria
  • Andrea N. Schneider – Surrey, Vancouver
  • Pamela Hood-Szivek – Victoria

Occupational Therapists (Supervised)

  • Naomi Hill – Vancouver
  • Tiffany Kobbero – Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Port Moody, Surrey, Vancouver
  • Kimberly Long – Kelowna, Lake Country, Oliver, Osoyoos, Peachland, Penticton, Summerland, West Kelowna
  • Sarah Tamosetis – 100 Mile House, Williams Lake

Professionals no longer listed on the RASP

RASP service providers may leave the RASP due to retirement or moving to a different job or province. Since March 30 listings for Kate Fitzherbert, Jeanine Harper, Louise Hill, and Stephanie Sywak have been removed from the RASP.

Reminder: New RASP Applications Received after May 15th will be processed by MCFD.

ACT will hand over the management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers to MCFD as of June 30, 2017. ACT advises that all new applications should be submitted by Monday, May 1, 2017. RASP applications which arrive after May 15, 2017 will be processed by MCFD.

Please note that the RASP application process will remain the same after July 1st as it is a MCFD-regulated process, which ACT has managed on MCFD’s behalf since 2005. For more information on the RASP application process see:

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