May 3, 2021
Every April, we celebrate Autism Acceptance Month across BC and beyond. Throughout our 13-year history, we have been so fortunate to build a community of over 6,600 children, youth and adults on the autism spectrum who have directly accessed, supported or led our programs.
This year, we wanted to ask them directly. What does Autism Acceptance mean to you? We reached out to nine individuals who are doing incredible things in their community. One by one, they shared what acceptance has meant to them as they participate, work and lead – both at CAN and beyond our walls.
“It’s important to accept, be open to everyone and enjoy everyone’s unique and individual personalities and abilities.”
We shared this idea with one of our most recent partners, EY. With one of their headquarters based in Vancouver, they are one of the largest professional services networks in the world. At the end of our video you saw EY Partner Anthony Rjeily, Executive Sponsor of EY’s Neurodiversity Centers of Excellence, pledge $2 for every like, share, or comment on the video, which has resulted in a $20,000 gift to CAN.
“The best action we can take [to promote autism acceptance] is to share our stories, and listen to others sharing theirs.” – Corey
Those video shares resulted in over 55.3K video views across channels. In addition to encouraging our community to listen to autistic voices, we were heartened to see over 250 comments from individuals sharing what autism acceptance meant to them:
“#autismacceptance means to educate, learn, and be receptive and open to understanding how complex autism is. Each person is unique and capable in their own way, and is deserving of the same opportunities. We are all human.”
“Each and every individual is a gift and brings us a gift by bringing a whole new way to see and view the world!”
“Autism acceptance to me means increasing representation of autistic individuals in the workplace & in sports! When we increase diversity, it brings different skills, ideas & experiences for all.”
With 1,998 shares and 252 comments across channels, the campaign raised a total of $4,500 for CAN to continue our work – not just during Autism Acceptance Month, but every day, year-round.
At the beginning of the campaign, EY committed to donating up to $20,000 for 10,000 total comments and shares.
Although the final total came short of that maximum commitment, EY will still honour their original commitment and have finalized a contribution of $20,000 to CAN!
Why has EY so passionately supported Autism Acceptance Month and Canucks Autism Network?
In addition to supporting the video financially, the team at EY has involved their leadership and all members in sharing the video across their networks, internally through news alerts, and last week at a local Vancouver Office Annual Town Hall hosted for 600+ staff in Vancouver.
The goal was to amplify acceptance and understanding, knowing that many EY staff are touched by autism, personally or among their friends and families. Marshall McAnerney, a CAN parent and supporter also spoke at EY’s Town Hall sharing his own families’ autism journey.
EY’s Neurodiversity Centers of Excellence was shared as part of the CAN Employment Fair this year, and continues working with our employment services team and Ready, Willing, and Able representative. While not all candidates will be headed for the highly technical work at EY, the firm hopes to identify candidates with technology or business backgrounds for EY’s Vancouver office.
EY’s Neurodiversity Centers of Excellence talent team recognizes that the most convincing candidates during an interview, may not always be the most qualified candidates, and hopes to tap into the talents within our neuro-diverse community to add value to the talent team at EY. Learn about Dilshan finding his path as an Intermediate Staff Accountant.
EY is looking forward to continuing to work with CAN beyond April, knowing that Acceptance for EY means that the firm has seen, heard, and understands the need to support autism in our community throughout the year.
From all of us at Canucks Autism Network, thank you to EY for their generosity and support, and thank you to everyone who liked, shared or commented on our video campaign this April.
More from this campaign: