The Canadian Autism Leadership Summit is Autism Alliance of Canada’s signature community event. On April 17-19, 2023, more than 180 Autistic self-advocates, researchers, politicians, service providers, and policy makers from across Canada came together in-person, in Ottawa, with over 50 more joining virtually to discuss, debate and develop recommendations for policies and strategies that benefit Autistic people in Canada. There was an exciting energy in the room as attendees reconnected with colleagues and made new connections at the first fully in-person event since 2019.

The 9th Annual Canadian Autism Leadership Summit (CALS2023) program was packed with informative and inspirational sessions, including:

  • Building Collaboration in Autism Postsecondary Education Supports
  • Maintaining Momentum in Autism and Housing
  • The International Autism Landscape: What can Canada learn? International policy experts present details on their national level autism strategies.
  • Using a Rights-Based Approach to Look at Autism Policies Around the World
  • Centering Indigenous Perspectives: How can a federal strategy help?

Stand-outs moments from the three days include:

  • The Senate reception celebrating the passing of Bill S-203 an Act Respecting a Federal Framework on Autism.
  • Tom Jackman’s hilarious and heartwarming acceptance speech for receiving the Jim and Ginette Munson Autism Leadership Award
  • The pop up art show Ben Animalia by autistic artist and author-illustrator of children’s books, Benjamin Lachapelle.

2024 will be the 10th Anniversary of CALS and the focus will be consultation on a federal autism strategy.

In closing remarks, Sinneave’s President, Tanya McLeod, challenged the audience to “ACE” the strategy by ensuring it is:

  • Authentic, Action oriented, Accountable
  • Collaborative, Comprehensive, Coordinated
  • Engaging, Empowering, and Evidence based


About the Autism Alliance of Canada:

The Alliance has over 700 Associate, Community and Organization Members working together to improve outcomes for Autistic people in Canada and their families. Membership is free and signing up allows you to stay up to date on Alliance activities across the country. Learn more by clicking the button below that says, “Autism Alliance of Canada.”

Autism Alliance of Canada


A photo of Benjamin Lachapelle, at CALS2023, displaying his artwork and illustrations. Ben Animalia at CALS2023

Autistic Artist, Benjamin Lachapelle, held a pop-up show at CALS2023 in Ottawa. Here he is displaying his work, including his published book Pace-Ants. You can find Ben’s work at (Photo courtesy of the Autism Alliance of Canada)


Ben Animalia, pace-ants display, autistic artist

A close up of some of Ben’s sculpture work. (Photo courtesy of the Autism Alliance of Canada)



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