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Guelph Services for Adults with Autism
(GSA)

Families and friends in Guelph-Wellington have been concerned about adults with Autism since the 1970s. Founding members of the local chapter of what is now Autism Ontario hosted colloquia and designed service proposals for teens and adults. In 1980, they incorporated Guelph Services for the Autistic as a charitable, not-for-profit corporation in Ontario, and later also co-founded Waterloo-Wellington Autism Services in 1991 when the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services agreed to provide funding for pilot projects in the combined region.

See an account of these early efforts.

Records relating to Autism organizations and initiatives, in the region and Ontario generally, are held in a special Autism Collection at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. (Search for Title=Autism)

GSA reorganized in 1997 to be a housing trust for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is not an agency, receives no direct funds from the Ontario Government, has no paid staff, and depends on the efforts and gifts of volunteer members and directors. Support mechanisms being pioneered by GSA are attracting interest elsewhere and being followed as models. GSA published a guide in 2008 to describe its role as housing trust: Creating a Home and Good Life of My Own. See an outline, links to excerpts, and how to order.
GSA’s support model is outlined in a presentation to the Minister of Community and Social Services in 2002, on promising initiatives in the Guelph region:

Important values and priorities of GSA:
1. Focusing on the individual person:

2. Fostering natural social relationships with support from among family, friends, neighbours, community:

GSA’s  present roles:

Link to GSA’s Annual Report for 2005, marking the 25th anniversary of its incorporation.

To communicate with GSA on its role as a housing trust, please send a message first to OAARSN at oaarsn@uoguelph.ca, with GSA on the Subject line.

 

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