This April, we are celebrating World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Acceptance Month across the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). This month and every month, we recognize the importance of accepting and supporting those on the Autism Spectrum so they can reach their full potential in school and in life.

World Autism Awareness Day

In 2007, the United Nations designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day. The goal of this day is to increase autism awareness and acceptance around the world. In the WRDSB, we acknowledge this important day each year as we work to gain a better understanding of neurodiversity.

Autism Acceptance Month

Each April, the WRDSB also celebrates Autism Acceptance Month. This month is an opportunity to do more than just spread awareness. It is also a time to promote acceptance, ignite change and celebrate achievements.

Supporting those on the Autism Spectrum in the WRDSB

Our focus is to move beyond acceptance. We strive to provide support, belonging and success.

In the WRDSB, more than 14,000 students receive some form of Special Education support each year. Our Special Education professionals strive to help students reach their full potential. Every day they strive to create a culture of equity, respect, understanding, belonging and collaboration.

We don’t do this work alone – we work closely with our Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) to enhance our programs. The SEAC is made up of advocates from associations and organizations such as Autism Ontario.

Neurodivergent Staff Affinity Group

To help us be a more inclusive workplace, the WRDSB has also established a staff Affinity Group for those who are Neurodivergent. This Affinity Group joins others already created in the WRDSB, including ones for staff who identify as 2SLGBTQQIA+, African, Caribbean & Black (ACB), Asian, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh.

Student Video: Autism Myths & Facts

Quinn Plummer, a Grade 9 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute and Disability Advocate, felt inspired to help promote acceptance and created a video message to share their personal thoughts on the Myths & Facts about Autism.