Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people and the world around them. Autism exists in all cultures, ethnicities, races, and gender identities, but not every autistic person is the same. Autism exists on a spectrum, meaning each person experiences autism in a different way and the amount and types of support services they need will vary.
“Each child with autism is unique and the complexities of everyday life can be daunting for families when dealing with the range of challenges they may face, which is why we are creating a centralized, Independent Intake Organization to help families navigate and access the services available. Our needs-based Ontario Autism Program is built by the community, for the community because we believe every child deserves the supports they need to help them reach their full potential.”
Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
The Ontario government is making it easier for families to access services in the needs-based Ontario Autism Program (OAP) with the selection of the Independent Intake Organization (IIO), which will help families navigate the program from intake to funding.
The OAP will provide direct support to families who are accessing or are interested in accessing the OAP by helping families:
Understand and make informed choices about their service options in the OAP
Make informed choices on how to receive funding
Find and select qualified service providers
Complete and submit required documentation and reconcile invoices
Feel supported in connecting to available resources and services in their local communities.
"Serefin is proud and excited to be able to provide the tools and supports that will allow children and their families to have a more coordinated, caring, and managed experience with providers and programs. We are delighted to be involved with a world-class team to create the best experience for children and families in need."
Skip Schwartz, President - Serefin Health
"Supporting Ontario families with children on the autism spectrum across the province has been a priority for Autism Ontario for 50 years. We are pleased to continue that evolving work through a partnership with Accerta, HealthCare365 and McMaster University, which will allow us to help families navigate the Ontario Autism Program."
Margaret Spoelstra, Executive Director of Autism Ontario
"Accerta assembled an interdisciplinary team of leaders from across Ontario to support children and youth on the autism spectrum. Our team combines profound knowledge of Ontario’s autism ecosystem, service delivery, clinical insight, and expert care-coordination with technical proficiency related to intake, registration, and reconciliation of payments. We look forward to leveraging our proven administrative processes to build trust and confidence in the Ontario Autism Program and contribute to better outcomes for children and youth on the autism spectrum."
Peter Owsiany, President and CEO of Accerta
"Serefin Health is proud and excited to be able to provide the tools and supports that will allow children and their families to have a more coordinated, caring, and managed experience with providers and programs. We are delighted to be involved with a world-class team to create the best experience for children and families in need."
Skip Schwartz, President - Serefin Health
"We are delighted that the evidence-based research and evaluation expertise provided by McMaster University will contribute to improving the lives, health and development of children, youth and their families through the new Ontario Autism Program."
Dr. Stelios Georgiades, McMaster Children’s Hospital Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopment; Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, Scientist, Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University
The IIO will be delivered through a partnership between Accerta Services Inc., McMaster University, Autism Ontario, and HealthCare365. The IIO partners bring together significant experience in administering public programs, supporting children and youth on the autism spectrum and their caregivers, care coordination, service navigation, research, and healthcare education.