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Vision and Mandate

Our Vision

A world where autism is understood, accepted and everyone is living their lives fully.

Our Mission

We are a community-based organization that builds understanding, acceptance, and inclusion for Autistics/individuals on the autism spectrum and their families through leadership, advocacy, education, training, and programming across the lifespan.

Core Values & Guiding Principles

This area of the strategic plan introduces the values that direct the approach to our work and the guiding principles that illustrate how these values will be brought to life. Over the next five years, Autism Nova Scotia will incorporate inclusion, respect, collaboration, acceptance and courage into our day-to-day activities and our longer-term projects. These core values will inform how we work toward achieving our vision.

Strategic Priorities & Goals

Imagining a future where Autism is understood and accepted and all Autistic individuals are living rich, full lives would be a mere fantasy if we did not define the goals we will pursue to realize this vision. Through the 2020-2025 strategic planning process, Autism Nova Scotia arrived at five priority areas within which we developed a number of measurable goals that will help to serve as our scorecard as we progress through the plan.

For two decades, Autism Nova Scotia has collaborated with Autistic individuals, families, government and other stakeholders to build awareness, acceptance and inclusion for our province’s autism community. The 2020-2025 strategic plan is our re-commitment to helping the 30,000 Autistic Nova Scotians live full lives through improved supports and services.

History and Founders

Autism Nova Scotia (formerly the Provincial Autism Centre) was founded in October of 2002 by Joan and Jack Craig, parents of an adult son with autism. The prior year, the Craig Foundation endowed a medical research Chair in Autism at Dalhousie University in Halifax, the first of its kind in Canada. The establishment of the Jack and Joan Craig Research Chair in Autism was a vital first step towards fostering new knowledge, improved diagnosis, and improved services for people with autism in Nova Scotia and their families.

The vision that fostered Autism Nova Scotia is a personal one. The Craigs sought to reach out to parents and families in a practical way to help address their need for information, and equally important, to provide a supportive environment where parents and autistic individuals can find the resources, supports, and services they need.

The autism community in Nova Scotia lost one of its greatest advocates in October 2016. Together with his wife Joan, Jack Craig was not only our founder: he was at the very heart of Autism Nova Scotia.

Through the establishment of the Joan & Jack Craig Chair in Autism Research, the founding of Autism Nova Scotia, and many years of tireless advocacy in our province and nation, the Craigs have empowered the autism community by supporting access to information, best practice programs, and access to supports across the lifespan.

The autism community is forever changed by Jack Craig’s generosity, and his commitment to understanding, acceptance, and inclusion for people on the Autism Spectrum.

In working together to create a world where all individuals on the Autism Spectrum can live their lives fully, we will continue to honour Jack Craig every day.

Board of Directors

Dave Nicholson, FCMA • Board Chair
CFO • Atlantic Subway

Catherine Rahey • Vice Chair
Autism Consultant • Complex Cases and Learning Centre Consulting Services

Ian Sutherland • Past Chair
Partner • Stewart McKelvey

Greg Smith, CPA, CA • Treasurer
Director of Finance • Payzant Building Products Ltd

Joan M. Craig, C.M. • Founder & Honorary Member
Autism Nova Scotia

Tracey Avery • Member at Large

Sarah Boyne, MSc. S-LP (c) • Member at Large
Speech Language Pathologist

Allison Garber • Member at Large
Owner • Allison Garber Communications

William Lahey • Member at Large
President & Vice-Chancellor • University of Kings College

Janean Marshall • Member at Large
Student Services Consultant • Mi’Kmaw Kina’matnewey

Stephanie McGrath • Member at Large
Senior Director, Content Strategy • VERB Interactive

Dr. Robert Strang • Member at Large

Careers With Us

What can you expect from a career at Autism Nova Scotia? We understand the importance of enjoying your workday while doing meaningful work.

Autism Nova Scotia strives to foster a workplace where employees feel welcomed, supported, and included. We understand that our differences are what can make us stronger, and we work diligently to have that idea reflected in what we do.

Many of our roles offer flexible options for work hours and location. Employees work independently while contributing to a one-of-a-kind team atmosphere.

Current opportunities:

Office Coordinator (Sydney)

QuickStart Administrative Support (Sydney)

Junior Instructional Designer (Bedford)

Person Directed Planning Program Facilitator (Bridgewater)

Summer Camp positions:

Summer Camp Counsellor (Province-wide)

Summer Camp Casual Camp Counsellor: 

Summer Camp Behavior Support Staff: 

Summer Camp On-Site Camp Coordinator: 


Annual Report 2021-2022 – A Place to Belong

AGM Agenda
2021 Draft Minutes

Previous Annual Reports:
Annual Report 2020-2021
Annual Report 2019-2020
Annual Report 2018-2019
Annual Report 2017-2018

Other Reports:
Choosing Now Report
Student First Report
Reviewing the Evidence for Supported Housing and ASD

Open Letters:
Open Letter to the Minister of Education Province of Nova Scotia Nov 3, 2022