ACT is Canada’s leading independent, not-for-profit specializing in evidence-informed research and resources to support individuals with disabilities/diverse abilities and their families, as well as community professionals. In addition to our guides, live events, web streaming, and videos, ACT provides an unrivaled information portal that responds to the diverse needs of our communities across the lifespan, in multiple languages.
The office of ACT—Autism Community Training is located on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh speaking peoples. We are grateful for the opportunity to share this territory, and pay our respects to elders past, and to those present and emerging. ACT is committed to addressing the recommendations arising from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, as well as the BC Declaration Act Action Plan.
ACT is a registered charity. Our Charitable Tax Number is: #861691236RR0001.
ACT’s Board and Staff are committed to the future
ACT is most grateful to our members, donors, sponsors, presenters, and community partners including researcher practitioners, and all who volunteer their time and expertise. Together, we can present evidence-based research and resources that would not be possible without these relationships.
ACT continues to respond to the acute need for online resources and training and in 2023, with your support, ACT will continue with our important work.
In 2022, ACT stepped up global advocacy efforts:
- United with community partners across disabilities and diverse abilities to ensure equitable supports.
- Created Resources for Ukraine, with seven Social Stories written by Carol Gray and a team of Social Stories practitioners. Working with a wonderful group of Ukrainian and Russian language translators, in Europe, North America and the Middle East, ACT has organized the translations into Ukrainian and Russian.
- Continued to support the community in the response to the MCFD’s plans to discontinue individualized Autism Funding, which has now been reversed. ACT provided frequent updates on our 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
- Supported SFU’s survey for professionals on the Registry of Autism Service Providers: Implementing the Family Connections Centres in British Columbia: Perspectives of Professionals on the Registry of Autism Service Providers
- Advocated for increased consultation, along with other organizations, based on an analysis of the proposed screen tools undertaken by Dr. Pat Mirenda, Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia.
In 2022, ACT provided training, information, resources, and online videos:
Training & Events
- 11,000 hours of training to 1,300 people, online and in-person.
- 4 evidence-informed training opportunities featuring provincial and international experts on a range of topics.
- 2 sessions of our 10-week “Self Care for Carers: A Compassion in Parenting Program” dedicated to building the emotional resilience of parents caring for autistic children.
Information & Resources
- Autism & Intellectual Disability Search: A unique online portal that allows users to keyword search nearly 1,400 records containing evidence-based, practical, information resources in 36 languages, and 1,100 community resources in British Columbia.
- ACT—Autism Community Training on Facebook: Resources and important news, with more than 9,000 followers. In 2022, ACT created more than 450 informative and engaging posts that reached 120,000 people.
Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA)
- Offered 80 free online videos and edited versions of our live events, available at www.actcommunity.ca/videos.
- Added 3 new videos:
- All AVA videos are now available on the ACT – Autism Community Training YouTube channel.
Why is ACT committed to continuing as an independent voice for people with diverse abilities or disabilities?
ACT’s approach and the resources built over more than a decade, with the help of so many, 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 BC families seeking support for their autistic children, autistic adults, families of children with other diverse abilities or disabilities, and the thousands of professionals who find ACT’s resources invaluable, help to ensure convenient, reliable access to online information resources, including training, provided by respected researchers and clinicians, and importantly, individuals with lived experience.
ACT can play a role to support families and professionals internationally
We see ACT evolving to play an important role nationally and internationally – there is a vacuum of readily accessible evidence-based practice information and training world-wide, especially in languages other than English. For these reasons, ACT is committed to continuing to build our resources and expand our reach. To do so, we need 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 and thinking to the future
20 years ago, reliable information and training for families was painfully scarce. Today, the landscape has been transformed and ‘information’ is everywhere. With hundreds of millions of hits for a Google search for “autism” however, many families may not be able to discern reliable sources.
ACT provides a vital non-commercial alternative to a random Google search – a portal to reputable online resources, in multiple languages. Furthermore, we are working with local research practitioners and other community partners to highlight the evidence-informed innovations that are being implemented. We are also exploring the application of additional types of content, such as expansion of our YouTube channel and incorporating the use of blog posts and podcasts, to be more interactive and reach an even wider audience.
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 community. With your support we will 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 Donate to ACT – Autism Community Training.
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, visit our sponsorship information page.
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.
To find out more about the volunteers who currently serve ACT, view our Board Members page, or to explore volunteer opportunities at ACT, visit Volunteering for ACT.