July 1, 2017 B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) took on responsibility for providing individualized support to parents and adults with autism, in addition to the management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers.
The new service is called Autism Information Service British Columbia (AIS BC)
3688 Cessna Drive, Richmond, British Columbia, V7B 1C7
Toll Free Line: 1-844-878-4700
Email – general information: AutismInformation@gov.bc.ca
Email – RASP: RASP@gov.bc.ca
Website – http://www.gov.bc.ca/autisminfo
Please see http://www.gov.bc.ca/autisminfo for information from MCFD on the new service.
Background Information from ACT
Many people in the autism community are already aware that in December 2016, MCFD decided to take over the parent information and support services that ACT had provided since 2005, as well as management of the Registry of Autism Service Providers, as of July 1, 2017. MCFD has funded ACT to provide these services under contract since 2005.
ACT co-operated fully with MCFD in the transitioning of services to ensure that the Registry of Autism Service Providers search remained reliable. However, ACT’s Board of Directors repeatedly raised concerns with government that the autism community was not consulted in this process and was not given the opportunity to provide input to MCFD about cancelling a contract that has been carried out by a community-based autism organization since the early 1990’s.
In March 2017, to give an opportunity for members of the autism community to provide their perspective on these issues, ACT commissioned an independent survey by Reichert & Associates. Over 1600 parents and professionals responded which is considered to be a representative sample.The primary question we wanted answered was what percentage of families wanted services provided by government directly, as opposed to support from a not-for-profit, like ACT, but not necessarily ACT. Only 9% endorsed autism information and support services being delivered by government. 71% prefer the not-for-profit option.
See details of the Identifying Need, Delivering Service – The Autism Community Satisfaction Survey Report issued April 7, 2017.
ACT’s Board of Directors requested the then MCFD Minister Stephanie Cadieux to reconsider the decision to take the service into government but the request was denied, despite the significant concerns raised as supported by the survey results.
ACT Training and Online Resources Will Continue
It has been a privilege for ACT to support families and professionals within BC’s autism community and beyond. ACT is proud of the wide range of services we have provided over the years, thanks to the deep commitment of staff, volunteers, donors, researchers, advisory council, and board members, in collaboration with many community partners. We have been encouraged by the incredibly strong assessment of our services in the survey:
- 96% of respondents are satisfied with the ACT website
- 95% were satisfied overall with the ease of accessing information about autism and related information through ACT.
ACT’s New Focus
ACT’s Board has decided that we will evolve as an organization to focus primarily on our live events, and our online training and information resources: free, evidence-informed resources for the autism and special needs community, provincially, nationally and internationally.
Since 2010, ACT has provided:
- 14,000 registrants with over 100,000 hours of training by leading clinicians and researchers;
- Over 120 live events in three languages, in 14 communities across BC;
- Autism Videos @ ACT, includes over 25 free online videos – available internationally;
- ACT’s Autism Information Database with over 1,300 information resources, in multiple languages.
- A Community Calendar to host B.C. events from partner organizations across the province.
Donate to Support ACT’s Free Resources
During this period of transformation, your financial support would be greatly appreciated. We know that families and professionals have many demands on your financial resources, we are also approaching foundations and seeking sponsorship.
As a federally registered Canadian not-for-profit society, ACT can provide tax receipts for donations over $10. ACT’s Charitable Tax Number is #861691236RR0001.
For details of ACT’s current focus see www.actcommunity.ca/support-us/
Visit our Donations Page for information on how to donate: www.actcommunity.ca/donate