The CONNECT project is the first Maritime-wide collaborative research initiative aimed at:
- Portraying the adult ASD population and its service needs via surveys;
- Developing an inventory of services in the three provinces and making them available to the public; and
- Sharing and transferring knowledge resulting from this project and the best practices in autism to health and social service providers, policy-makers and the ASD community.
With this unique project, decision-makers will have access to a portfolio of evidence-based tools, created in collaboration with adults with ASD, their families and other knowledge users to improve the CONtinuity of care and support for the Autism SPECtrum Disorder community.
1. Portraying the adult ASD population and its service needs via surveys
Until now, empirical data has been lacking:
- for further discussion on the needs of adults with ASD,
- to develop policies based on evidence, and
- to make local decision.
To fill this gap, we are developing a Maritime needs assessment survey focused on adults with ASD. This survey will provide insight about the needs and challenges faced by adults with autism and their caregivers, by collecting data on:
- physical and mental health;
- level of autonomy (self-sufficiently);
- quality of life;
- use of social and leisure services;
- availability and use of financial support;
- as well as the cost associated with these services.
The information generated by this project will be diverse and its mobilizations will be adapted according to the target audience.
2. Developing an inventory of services in the three provinces and making them available to the public
Services access can be a-maze-ingly complicated! One of CONNECT’s goal is to make information on services and care for adults with ASD easy to access.The services, in the three provinces, are currently being listed to create a publicly accessible inventory.
3. Sharing and transfering knowledge resulting from this project and the best practices in autism to health and social service providers, policy-makers and the ASD community.
Following the survey, workshops on the best practices for adults with ASD will occur fall 2017.
- National and international experts, in the field of adult autism, will present the principals of excellence in evidence-based services, and
- A panel of adults living with ASD will share their personal experiences with care and support systems.
- A knowledge-sharing workshop to generate input from different stakeholders on the CONNECT survey results and establish future research objectives.
Simultaneous translation and all materials will be available in French and English for both workshops. A French facilitator will be assigned to the Francophone groups and the host will be bilingual.
Both events date will soon be unveiled.