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Press release from Marketwire

Ontario Marks World Autism Awareness Day by Raising the Flag in 444 Communities Across the Province

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Ontario Marks World Autism Awareness Day by Raising the Flag in 444 Communities Across the Province10:00 EST Wednesday, March 06, 2013TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 6, 2013) - April 2nd, 2013 will mark an historical day in Canada for the Autism community. For the first time, Canadians will recognize World Autism Awareness Day. All Ontario municipalities are being asked to Raise the Flag in honour of this historic day. Autism Ontario will send all 444 municipalities the World Autism Awareness Day flag thanks to the generous support of BMO. Communities are being asked to raise the flags at noon on April 2nd, 2013 at all City and Town Halls across the province to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and encourage support and inclusiveness for individuals with ASD. "This is a monumental day for the Autism community," said Margaret Spoelstra, Executive Director of Autism Ontario. "Autism Spectrum Disorder is something for which many Ontarians require support. Together, with BMO and the Province of Ontario, we look forward to all communities in Ontario showing their support for individuals with ASD."ASD, which affects an estimated 100,000 Ontarians, is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. ASD impacts the typical development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with ASD typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities."BMO's commitment to improving the communities in which we live and work includes fostering an inclusive, supportive and accessible workplace that focuses on promoting diversity and accommodating people with disabilities," said James Kelsey, Senior Vice President, BMO Financial Group. "As someone with a family member affected by Autism, I know first hand the challenges it brings. For that reason, I am delighted BMO is part of this historic occasion to raise awareness of Autism and support Autism Ontario in its Raise the Flag campaign."Event Details:When: April 2nd, 2013 @ Noon ET Where: City or Town Hall in your municipalityWhy: To raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) About Autism OntarioAutism Ontario is the leading source of information and referral on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and one of the largest collective voices representing the Autism community. Members are connected through a volunteer network of chapters across the Province of Ontario. The mission of Autism Ontario is to promote lifelong access and opportunities for persons within the Autism Spectrum and their families to be fully included, participating members of their communities. Autism Ontario is dedicated to increasing public awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with ASD, their families, and the professionals with whom they interact. Autism Ontario shares common goals of providing information and education, supporting research, and advocating for programs and services for the Autism community.For more information please contact your local chapter.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Contact Information: Autism OntarioKatherina SymesCommunity Resource Manager416-246-9592 X 226 or 800-472-7789 X 226C: