About Aide

What is AIDE Canada?

Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities Knowledge Exchange Network (AIDE Canada) is a wide-reaching initiative focused on offering information and support to individuals and their families and caregivers in our neurodiverse community.

Regardless of a person’s location, AIDE Canada aims to connect Canadians nationwide to credible, reliable, and evidence-informed resources that are geared specifically towards the autism and/or intellectual disability community.

The AIDE Canada network mobilizes current research, literature, and practical tools to support our community, and delivers this information in an unbiased and accessible way. Neurodiverse communities including people with lived experience of autism and/or intellectual disability and their families are an integral part of this network. Our aim is to inform stakeholders from across Canada, and to break down myths and other misinformation regarding autism and intellectual disability.

On the AIDE Canada web platform, we have tried to eliminate as many instances of ableism as we can. Ableism is discrimination in favor of people who are able-bodied and/or neurotypical. Some forms of ableism are obvious, like using accessible parking spaces without a permit, or wearing scents in a scent-free environment. But not all ableism is easy to spot. In the context of the autism and/or intellectual disability community ableism might mean assuming that someone who is non-verbal can’t understand you, or workplace employee evaluations that focus on “cultural fit” and exclude quantifiable outcomes. Here are some examples of what we have done to minimize ableism on our site:

  • Our accessibility widget, (click the human icon in the lower right corner of your screen for more information), and
  • Our connection centre (staff are ready to text or voice-chat with community members who would like assistance using our site)
  • Being respectful of individuals’ identity language preferences (by asking each individual how they prefer to be identified and using their stated preference)

AIDE Canada has teamed up with local providers across Canada to set up regional hubs where our community members can connect and get resources, support, and information in person. This Hub-to-Hub network supports sharing of best practices and innovations from coast to coast to coast.  

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Curated

AIDE Canada has engaged experts from across Canada to feature up-to-date information on autism and/or intellectual disability. The information is reviewed and presented in a way that is easy to understand for individuals and families.

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Connected

People in the autism and/or intellectual disability community all have unique experiences, knowledge, and questions. AIDE Canada is a way to connect people, information, and resources to each other when it’s needed most.

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Trusted

The road to well-being can be rocky and challenging – AIDE Canada aims to be a safe and trusted space for those seeking information, support, and resources to support them and their families on this journey. AIDE Canada is a space for learning, sharing, and dialogue.

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Canadian

Canada is a vast country, with a wide array of regions, cultures, languages, and people. AIDE Canada aims to be a pan-Canadian knowledge hub, so that anyone accessing information from coast to coast to coast are supported in finding information and resources that will be helpful.

AIDE Canada is…

A Trusted Source: An online collection of current, evidence-informed resources that have been tailored to give useful, relevant information in a way that is easy to understand.

An Online Portal Tailored to You: Users can search for information tailored to them, including by journey stage, need, region, and resource type.

A Nation-wide Lending Library: A way for people in the autism and/or intellectual disability community from across Canada to borrow books, educational tools, DVDs and more free of charge and delivered anywhere in Canada.

A Resource Map: Up-to-date listings on resources, services, and programs available in your region.

A Hub Network: A Hub-to-Hub network of organizations, effectively linking individuals and families from across the country. The hub includes the Miriam Foundation (in Quebec), Autism Calgary, Autism Yukon, Autism Ontario, Autism Nova Scotia and the Pacific Autism Family Network (in British Columbia).

Community Consultation

Between January of 2019, when we launched our initiative, and September 2020, when we released the full version of our library and website, we held dozens of formal and informal meetings with groups, organizations and individuals. 

You can read about who we spoke to,  what we asked, what they told us and how we are using this information in our Community Consultation Report here.

Moving forward, AIDE will remain committed to ongoing input and guidance from our community. Understanding the wide range of individual, family and community needs and priorities is integral to our work. 

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