Author Archives: ACT

Report on Children with Disabilities Excluded from School During COVID-19

BCEdAccess released a report highlighting the gulf between the Ministry of Education’s statements and the reality as experienced by students with disabilities: Children with Disabilities Excluded from School During COVID-19.

“BCEdAccess has released the results of its 2019/20 Exclusion Tracker. The total number of parent reports of exclusion of BC K-12 students with disabilities increased by 179% over last year, from 492 to 883.

The full report can be found here: Exclusion Tracker Report July 22, 2020

This was also covered by Global News.

Federal government passes bill to expand $600 benefit to more Canadians with Disabilities

The federal government has passed new COVID-19 financial supports for persons with disabilities, including expanding eligibliity to 1.7 million Canadians receiving:

  • A Disability Tax Credit certificate provided by the Canada Revenue Agency;
  • Canada Pension Plan disability benefit or Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit; and
  • Disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada.

The supports include a $600 one-time payment.

View full details here.


More coverage

Half a million Canadians with disabilities could be excluded from newly announced financial support – CHEK

House passes bill to extend and reform wage subsidy, introduce disability benefits – CBC News

Social Thinking – Apply for a bursary by July 22 or use Autism Funding | Participate in Research | Autism in the News

Social Thinking: Emotions

Registration closes August 5th
Bursaries Available; Pre-approved for Autism Funding

Web Streaming across B.C., Alberta & Yukon
8:30am-3:30pm Pacific Time

View Details & Registration

A recording of the August 20-21 live web stream will be available for registrants to watch or rewatch from August 25th – September 8th.

For the first time, ACT is offering a presentation by Michelle Garcia Winner as a live web stream – direct from the Social Thinking studio in Santa Clara, California. This presentation is only open to ACT registrants in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon via web stream. ACT and Social Thinking have been planning this conference for over a year as a live event, but as it is not possible to bring hundreds of registrants together in-person, we are grateful that Social Thinking is able to continue this training with a web cast from Santa Clara.


Event Description

This two-day presentation explores how emotions are the undercurrent of all forms of social communication and are at the heart of personal problem solving, motivation, relationships, and life memories (episodic memory). This information applies to everyone. However, this series focuses on teaching emotions to individuals with social-emotional learning challenges who are working in the average range academically. Across the two days, discover how to teach students, clients, and patients about their emotions and build self-regulation – a timely topic for these difficult times.

Review details of the content, and schedule before registering to ensure this is a good fit for your interests. Please note that this presentation is relevant for those who work with a range of students with diverse learning needs. Autistic adults may also find it helpful. However, it is at the intermediate/advanced level and assumes some knowledge of Social Thinking methodology. If you have not attended a Social Thinking event in the past, you will find it beneficial to review the many free and fascinating resources available on the Social Thinking website.

Autism Funding

ACT’s workshops are pre-approved by MCFD – ACT can bill your registration fees directly to the Autism Funding Branch. You do not have to pay ACT in advance but you do have to follow the steps below by August 5th.

To register for an ACT workshop using your Autism Funding,

  1. Complete ACT’s Online Registration Form.
  2. Complete and submit by email to info@actcommunity.ca:
    1. MCFD’s Permission form (pdf)
    2. MCFD’s Request to Pay form (pdf)

ACT requires all three completed forms to be submitted to process your registration. For details please visit Workshop Registration Using Autism Funding.

Bursaries available for autistic adults and low-income registrants

ACT has bursary funds available for low-income registrants – these are not restricted to the autism community. Submit this bursary form to apply. Wait for a decision on your bursary application before paying! Deadline for bursary submissions is July 22 at 4:30pm. We will send a decision by July 29th.

View Details & Registration


Participate in Research

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As part of ACT’s continuing commitment to research, below is a list of university-affiliated research projects which have been submitted to ACT. We hope that parents, autistic individuals and community professionals will find an interesting project to engage in, to ensure that research is informed by those who have lived experience.

Researchers are invited to submit your research project using this online form. Submission may take up to one week to post.

Recently added research projects:

  • Life beyond Trauma: 1-on-1 e-health program for parents of neurodiverse children
  • Measuring Sound Sensitivity Study – Online
  • Canadian Parents’/Guardians’ Perspectives about the Impact of COVID-19 School Closures on Students Special Educational Needs
  • Research Opportunity for Parents Who Completed PEERS

View Research Projects


Autism in the News


ACT’s Facebook Page is a great source for trustworthy information from the realms of politics, research and practical support, as well as the weird and wonderful. We now have 8,000 followers across the world. 

Mayday: Neurodiversity Now!Mayday: Neurodiversity Now!

Many of you are familiar with the wonderful Mayday Club Youth Choir for Neurodiversity. But did you know that Mayday has branched out to radio? Nicole Provost and other young people on the spectrum have started a radio show on Vancouver Coop Radio (100.5FM) called “Mayday: Neurodiversity Now!” They talk on the air about inclusion and other topics that affect them. The program airs on Tuesday mornings at 10 AM, but is also available for download from Spotify or Anchor. Enjoy!

Plan on five-day school week in fall for K-7, education minister says – Vancouver Sun

Province admits harm in multimillion-dollar settlement with more than 100 victims of B.C. social worker – CBC News

Eye ‘jumps’ in autistic people may be especially fleeting – Spectrum News

Winnipeg woman beaten by 16-year-old son with autism says she can no longer care for him – CBC News

Netflix To Debut Autism Dating Show – Disability Scoop

Young, Black, autistic and imprisoned: Matthew Rushin’s story is sadly not unique – Salon

‘I can definitely speak for myself’: Canadian interview series raises awareness about disabled community – CBC Radio
View ACT’s News on Facebook

Financial Aid for People with Disabilities Delayed in Parliamentary Dispute

On June 5th, the Government of Canada announced it would be providing a special one-time payment of $600 to individuals who, as of June 1, 2020, are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit.  The payment was to be provided without an application or attestation and was to be non-taxable. View details of this announcement.

Unfortunately, the House of Commons is locked in a disagreement about passing other components of Bill C-17, which includes this measure. Include-Me.ca has set up a web page with a simple process to write to your MP and  share your opinion of the delay in passing this legislation. 

To keep up with the latest announcements on this issue, follow ACT’s Facebook page.

Federal government announces one-time, tax-free payment of up to $600 for those who have a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate

“OTTAWA — Canadians with disabilities will be sent a one-time tax-free payment of up to $600, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday, in an effort to help offset the financial pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This new financial aid will go to all who are eligible for the Disability Tax Credit, as of June 1.

Canadians who have a valid certificate for the Disability Tax Credit will receive $600. Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will receive $300. Canadians who are eligible for both of these programs and are also eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will be receiving $100.”

View the full article below.