Assistant Deputy Minister, Ontario Government
Aryeh Gitterman joined the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) in March 2007 as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Policy Development and Program Design Division. Aryeh is responsible for policies and programs for: Autism, Community-based mental health, Child protection, Special needs, Residential services, and Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Prior to joining MCYS, Aryeh was ADM of the Instruction and Leadership Development Division, and the Business and Finance Division, Ministry of Education. While at Education he was responsible for policies and programs for: Secondary school, Teacher quality Leadership development for principals, Safe schools, Ontario Education Number, Turnaround schools
During the 2015-16 academic year he was the Ontario Public Service Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University.
Autistic Advocate and Motivational Speaker
Daniel Share-Strom is a popular professional public speaker who stages his own speaking events to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Greater Toronto Area. Daniel is a sought-after Asperger’s educator and advocate who has been moving audiences with his self-awareness, poignant insight and humour for the past 11 years. “I talk about stuff that really matters—things your doctor doesn’t tell you and teachers don’t know,” says Daniel, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 10. ‘Autism is not a defect or a mental illness, and it is not a catastrophe. It is simply another way of experiencing the world.
Professor, University of Calgary
David Nicholas, PhD, RSW, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary; and is cross-appointed to the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. A board member of the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, Dr. Nicholas brings expertise in qualitative, mixed-method, and synthesis review study designs. His areas of research address quality of life, employment support and transition in disability, family support, parenting, family-centred care, chronic illness, and neurodevelopmental disabilities, with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He is currently involved in national and international studies addressing the impact of ASD on youth and families both at the point of diagnosis and over the course of development.
Clinician-Scientist in Adult Neurodevelopmental Services at CAMH
Yona Lunsky (PhD, C. Psych) is a clinical scientist in Adult Neurodevelopmental Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, as well as an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). She directs the Health Care Access Research and Developmental Disabilities Program (H-CARDD) and has extensive experience conducting clinical and health systems in the field of developmental disabilities. She has a strong interest in mental health care policy and practice issues related to this population, and in developing innovative approaches to assist families and staff in their caregiving role.