Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Medicare for Autism NOW visit Granville Island

On Sunday June 22, members of the Medicare for Autism Now! Campaign spent a sunny afternoon on Granville Island outside of Kidsmarket distributing information, talking to families and fund raising for the national campaign to get ABA therapy covered under medicare.

Signatures were gathered on a petition which will be forwarded to Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray at her office in the House of Commons in Ottawa. It is Ms Murray’s duty to present this petition on behalf of Canadians who want to see science-based autism treatment included in Medicare and the creation of academic chairs in each province to teach IBI/ABA treatment and create a base of Canadian professionals in this field.

Many of the people who signed this petition live in the federal riding of Vancouver, Quadra.

“We are getting out in the community to update families on our campaign and spread the word to all fair minded Canadians.”, says Jean Lewis , Director of FEAT of BC. “We want to connect with them and raise awareness with all Canadians of the crisis affecting thousands of children in this country – lack of access to autism treatment.”

The Medicare for Autism Now! national campaign launched in March. The campaign raising awareness and advocating for policy change to make science-based ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) treatment available for all Canadians diagnosed with autism. Supporters are preparing to participate in constituencies across the country in the next federal election. Their goal is to support any candidate that publicly supports legislation to amend the Canada Health Act to include autism treatment. They will be especially supportive of candidates in those ridings that were won in the last election by a minor margin.

Vancouver Quadra is one of those ridings.

This initiative was started by FEAT of BC (Families for Early Autism Treatment), a not-for-profit, non-partisan volunteer organization of parents and professionals who offer a variety of services for families affected by autism. These services include a New Parent Package which describes how to get a treatment team up and running, therapist training and parent advocacy training workshops. Their website is a forum for parents and professional to connect over various topics and issues from behavioural and treatment to school and government.

Saturday, July 5, 2008