The Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) was formed July 2007 shortly after the Senate Committee Report “Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in Crisis”.  During this time the federal government sent a clear message to the autism community: We need to work together with a unified voice. The autism community responded by forming CASDA.


The founding members of CASDA all believed that there was more our Federal Government could do for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and together we could make change happen.  One thing we all agreed on was that this country needed a National ASD Strategy.

Begining in April 2009, and every year since to honour World Autism Awareness Day, CASDA has gone to Parliament Hill in Ottawa and has met with Members of Parliament and Senators to advocate for our cause with a unified voice. Our thanks goes out to Senator Jim Munson for facilitating these encounters. The Alliance was very well received and since then doors have opened to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Health Canada (HC) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). CASDA is currently working with these federal government ministries for real change.

We ask you to join us and please consider being a member.


All Canadians living with ASD have full and equal access to the resources they require to achieve their full potential.


CASDA is a coalition of organizations and individuals developing a comprehensive National ASD Framework. It is committed to ensuring the implementation of a comprehensive National ASD Strategy that addresses critical gaps in funding and policies, which are preventing individuals with ASD and their families from exercising their equal rights as Canadians.

Contact Us

To contact us please email info@casda.ca.

Board of Directors

CASDA’s Board of Directors is made of representatives from some of Canada’s leading autism organizations.

Cynthia Carroll

Cynthia Carroll

Chair – Executive Director, Autism Nova Scotia

Debbie Irish

Debbie Irish

Vice-Chair – Chief Financial Officer, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

Margaret Whelan

Margaret Whelan

Director – CASDA Member

Jill Farber

Jill Farber

Director – Executive Director, Autism Speaks Canada

Nathalie Garcin

Nathalie Garcin

Director – CASDA Member

Amy Lonsberry

Amy Lonsberry

Director – Board Secretary, Sinneave Family Foundation

Dave Mikkelsen

Dave Mikkelsen

Treasurer – Community Engagement, Society for Treatment of Autism


Leslie Peters

Director – Executive Director, Autism Yukon

Sue VanDeVelde-Coke

Sue VanDeVelde-Coke

Director – President and CEO, Kerry’s Place Autism Services

Adrian Bochach

Adrian Bohach

Director – President and CEO, Enterprise4Good

Heather Driscoll

Heather Driscoll

Director – CASDA Member

Marie-Hélène Poulin

Director – CASDA Member

Our Work

CASDA works hard to bring national attention to ASD. Below you’ll find the work we are doing on your behalf.

National Needs Assessment Survey

Completed in 2014, this report is a result of almost 6,000 responses to the national survey on autism. This is the first survey of its kind.

Download NowVideo Summary

Position Paper

This paper is a work in progress that details areas for our federal government to take action.

Download Now

Canadian Autism Partnership (CAP)

The Canadian Autism Partnership Project (CAPP) is mobilizing individuals and organizations across disciplines and sectors on a national level to accelerate innovation and action to address the most complex issues affecting Canadians living with autism.

Learn More

Ready Willing and Able

Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) is a national initiative active in 20 communities across Canada, with a branch in all 13 provinces and territories.

Learn More


Support CAP

Canada has spoken.

In gathering information to inform our business plan, we conducted extensive consultations across the country with Canadians impacted by Autism.

In every province and territory the response was clear: partnership is essential if we are to collectively improve better outcomes for individuals and families living with Autism.

In order to achieve this goal, we need to mobilize and work in tandem to show our Government that we are stronger when united. With their backing, we can position Canada as a global leader for Autism supports, resources and research development and execution.

Here’s how you can help.

  • Write to the elected officials in your area – both provincial and federal representatives – to express your support of a Canadian Autism Partnership. Communicate the old fashioned way with pen and paper, or send them a message via email or through social media platforms.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and share our updates with your social networks.
  • Download the executive summary and share with family and friends.

Join US

The Board of Directors invites you to join CASDA

By joining CASDA, you are part of a movement of likeminded autism organizations and individuals partnering with our federal government in creating and implementing a National Autism Strategy.


Visit the list of autism organizations and individuals that support the work of CASDA and are proud to be a member. Sitting at a neutral table with a unified voice will ensure we get a plan or a National Autism Strategy.


Our online membership application will only take a few minutes to complete. Be part of a coalition of organizations and individuals that want to be part of ensuring our federal government has, and implements, a National Autism Strategy.


Please take time to read the Governance Handbook that includes information on membership terms, membership privileges, and CASDA governance.