Happy New Year everyone! I have a great feeling about 2020! I think it will be an incredible year for AutismBC and the autism community.
I joined the AutismBC team a little over a year ago and the thing I love most about working with the autism community in BC is the deep-hearted passion and commitment I see every day. Our community is continually pushing forward into new territory by setting higher standards and shedding light on the cultural shifts needed to create a truly inclusive society.
In reflecting on the past year, I am most proud of the internal work that AutismBC has done on inclusiveness. I have seen our staff and board members lean into challenging conversations, question long-held beliefs and come together with the goal of better representing and serving the community. We are so grateful for the feedback we’ve received from community members and for the support of the Stigma-Free Society that continues to guide us on this journey.
At the end of last year, all our staff and many of our board members came together for a 3-day team-building and strategic planning conference. It was a great opportunity to bring everyone together from across the province to share, brainstorm and plan for AutismBC’s future. I was so impressed by the ideas and experiences shared by everyone and the professional support we received from Girls Club founder, Vicky Ryan. It was a good sign that AutismBC is in a great place to launch into 2020 with a clear vision, mission, and plan to support the autism community in a bigger and better way than before.
One of the key ways that we are striving to better reach, engage and connect with the autism community in 2020 is by sharing knowledge, resources, and stories through monthly autism themes. Our January theme, Adulting with Autism aims to help young adults on the autism spectrum and their families prepare for the future. We have seen an exponential increase in calls and requests for support from autistic adults and we want to better serve these community members that struggle to get access to diagnoses, services, and support.
There is much to come in the year ahead, so stay tuned for next month’s autism theme, our 2020-2023 strategic plan, and much, much more.
Fun Facts about Julia:
She’s lived in Uganda, New Zealand, Ghana, South Korea, Sweden, Botswana, Liberia, and of course Canada!
She was a competitive synchronized swimmer and can hold her breath for more than a minute
She has over 100 people in her family
Her mom still calls her “a pearl of a girl”
Julia’s New Year’s Resolutions:
To improve her cooking repertoire and host a dinner party every month
To only hit the snooze button once each morning
To use and waste less plastic, particularly food packaging
To express more gratitude to my loved ones, friends and colleagues