AutismBC Earns a Stigma-Free Zone Designation

The Stigma-Free Society is proud to announce AutismBC’s official designation as a Stigma-Free Zone!

Over the past year, AutismBC has been working with Stigma-Free Society in order to overcome barriers to full inclusion, diversity and equity within the organization. Having the awareness that their organization has room to grow in these areas was a powerful starting point to becoming stigma-free. From there, they have been working with Stigma-Free Society to make changes to their organization. Their efforts have not gone unrecognized by Stigma-Free Society, and we are so excited to announce their Stigma-Free Zone designation.

AutismBC has taken on inclusivity initiatives and made fundamental changes to their organization in order to achieve this designation.

Some of these important initiatives include:

  • Electing two new board members that will help them better represent their community’s diversity, launching a new website with inclusive language and content;
  • Supporting staff through the challenges of COVID-19 by doing staff polls;
  • Having open conversations about self-care;
  • Allowing for staff-led scheduling and workload adjustments;
  • Adding additional team connection meetings weekly; and
  • Showcasing a diverse range of community stories on their social media.

AutismBC’s Commitment to Inclusivity

Not only have there been practical changes made in the organization, there has also been a discernible cultural shift that has highlights inclusion, diversity and fostering a deeper sense of community. AutismBC is committed to continuing to embed a learning culture by having ongoing conversations about how to stay engaged in progressive discussions, receive feedback, and remain open to suggestions on improving.

All of these efforts and actions are why AutismBC has now been given the official title of a Stigma-Free Zone. These changes have occurred because of the work of individuals who are committed to ensuring that anyone seeking support from AutismBC feels as though they are being heard, acknowledged and represented by and within the organization. Understanding the importance of culturally reflective programming, stories, staff and resources to meet the needs of the diverse populations seeking support from AutismBC has driven these changes and created a new culture within the organization.

Julia Boyle, Executive Director at AutismBC, shares,

“I can see that the changes we’ve made and the culture we are building are working. We still have a lot of work to do, but luckily, we have great people to support us at Stigma-Free Society, and we get valuable feedback from our members and followers. Creating a safe space for non-judgmental discussion is at the heart of it; we’ve all been both humbled and empowered.”

AutismBC is committed to continuing to learn, listen and grow as an organization and Stigma-Free Society will be alongside them on this journey, supporting their efforts in every way we can. We are so grateful to be associated with an organization that is making tangible changes better serve their community.