ACT is Canada’s leading independent, not-for-profit specializing in evidence-informed resources for the autism and special needs community. In addition to developing our own videos, guides and live events, including web streaming, ACT provides an unrivaled information portal that responds to the diverse needs of our community across the lifespan, including the voice of adults, in multiple languages.
ACT is a registered charity. Our Charitable Tax Number is: #861691236RR0001.
ACT’s Board and Staff are committed to the future
ACT has served more people in 2021 then ever before – responding to the acute need during the pandemic for online resources and training to support those with autism and other neurodiverse conditions. In 2022, with your support, ACT will continue with our information and training work. As the provincial government continues to ignore the concerns of families, researchers and clinicians, ACT will step up our work with other disability organizations to raise public awareness of the risks to vulnerable children from MCFD’s new framework.
ACT’s accomplishments are the result of extensive collaboration. A very big thank you to all those who volunteer their time and expertise. Together, our members, donors, presenters and sponsors enable ACT to provide a wealth of free information and training resources for those with autism and other neurodiverse conditions.
See ACT’s Accomplishments in 2021 including a video timeline showcasing our work over the past two years.
In 2021, ACT stepped up global advocacy efforts:
- United with community partners across disabilities to fight for equitable supports.
- Launched New MCFD Framework for Children with Support Needs page:
- Responses from the community and disability organizations
- Statements from ACT on the new framework
- Updates on community initiatives and media coverage
- Releases and resources from MCFD
- Sponsored BCEdAccess’ 7th Annual Advocon and 8 Days of Action for Access.
In 2021, ACT provided:
- Nearly 53,000 hours of training to 6,000 registrants – a 194% increase in hours of training and a 136% increase in registrants over 2020.
- 12 evidence-based training opportunities featuring provincial and international experts and a range of topics.
- Training to audiences across 131 cities and towns in B.C., 10 provinces and 21 countries
- Over $35,000 in bursaries in the form of reduced registration fees for low-income registrants and Indigenous communities.
- One of the highest rates of engagement of any Canadian Facebook page focused on the autism community, with over 9,000 followers. Follow ACT on Facebook.
In 2021, Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA):
- Offered 77 free online videos, edited versions of our live events, at www.actcommunity.ca/videos.
- Added 12 new videos on topics ranging from toilet training, to parent coaching, community recreation, sexuality, mindfulness, research and beyond.
Why is ACT committed to continuing as an independent voice for the special needs community?
ACT’s approach and the resources we have built over a decade, with the help of so many in the autism/special needs community, are not duplicated by government or by other agencies. As a not-for-profit, led by a committed Board of Directors, ACT engages in the creative, cost-effective use of web-based technology, online information databases and social media, with the support of a network of experts who volunteer their time.
The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated how vital ACT’s online resources are. The 19,000 B.C. families seeking help for their children with ASD, autistic adults, families of children with other special needs, and the thousands of professionals who find ACT’s resources invaluable, cannot rely solely on email and telephone support. They need access, at their convenience, to reliable online information resources, including training, provided by respected researchers and clinicians. Parents and self-advocates also need to source objective resources to help them advocate for their children and themselves when they are denied government services.
ACT can play a role to support families and professionals internationally
We also see ACT evolving to play an important role nationally and internationally – there is a vacuum of readily accessible best practice information and training world-wide, especially in languages other than English. For all of these reasons, ACT is committed to continuing to build our resources. But to build a self-sustaining not-for-profit we have to diversify our income, which is why we are appealing to the families and professionals who make use of our services, as well as to foundations and private companies.
Reflecting back and thinking to the future
20 years ago, reliable information and training for families were painfully scarce. The landscape has been transformed, ‘information’ is everywhere, but with millions of hits for a Google search for “autism”, many families are vulnerable to charlatans eager to take advantage of their confusion. ACT provides a vital non-commercial alternative to a random Google search – a portal to reputable online resources. What ACT provides cannot be duplicated by a government service. As a dynamic, community-based organization that respects families, self-advocates and professionals, ACT has earned the respect of the autism community. With your support we can continue this vital work and make it available to families across Canada and internationally.
Donate to become a ‘Friend of ACT’
ACT must continue to build independent sources of funding if we are to continue our work long-term. Please consider a monthly or one-time donation so that we can build a sustainable financial future for what is a unique information service. For ACT’s current fundraising priorities please visit our donations page.
Sponsorship allows ACT to provide more training opportunities. For more information on how you or your organization could be involved in sponsoring ACT’s online or live events, see Sponsorship.
Other ways to support ACT’s Mission – Volunteer
ACT is a small organization with a large presence because of the support we receive from our volunteers, donors and sponsors. Collectively these efforts enrich our services immeasurably.