The new Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA) Autism Project Coordinator will work with provincial partners to support best practice service delivery throughout Atlantic Canada says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Doug Currie.
“I am extremely pleased to see this initiative move forward,” said Minister Currie. “By hiring Sheila Bulmer as Autism Project Coordinator, APSEA has demonstrated a strong commitment to continue to build and improve services for children and families with Autism Spectrum Disorders in our region.”
Last year, the Prince Edward Island Autism Action Plan was released. One of the recommendations from the Plan was to promote the establishment of an Atlantic Autism Research Council that would be responsible for researching best practices in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), staying apprised of developments in the field of knowledge, and providing reports and recommendations. The establishment of the Autism Project Coordinator position is an important step in implementing this.
A study commissioned by the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) highlighted many advantages to having the Atlantic Provinces collaborate on Autism services. Last fall, APSEA approved the Autism Action Plan which specified that APSEA’s role would focus on “indirect services.”
Indirect services would include:
- Research to clarify and articulate standards of practice
- Collaborative professional development and training
- Support for parents and families
- A Web-based library/resource centre
Ms. Bulmer will work with the ASD Advisory Committee, which consists of the four Directors of Students Services, a representative autism consultant from each Atlantic province and the APSEA Directors. She will liaise with provincial partners to ensure the Autism Action Plan moves forward and meets the needs of each province.
“This is great news for families and individuals dealing with ASD in Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Currie. “The potential benefits of this type of collaboration are significant and I look forward to seeing the results of Ms. Bulmer’s work with the ASD Advisory Committee.”
The Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority (APSEA) is an interprovincial cooperative agency established in 1975 by joint agreement among the Ministers of Education of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
Media Contact: Maureen Flanagan-LeClair