I am grateful to live and work in Toronto, the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Jill was appointed Executive Director in 2013, following her active involvement as a member of the Board of Directors at Autism Speaks Canada. With over 25 years of experience working with the autism community, her dedication has made a profound impact.
Spurred by her time spent in a special education classroom during high school co-op program Jill became apart of the autism community. Her passion to support the needs of autistic individuals and their families led her to spend 15 years as a consultant and therapist specializing in ABA therapy. Jill has remained steadfast in her resolve to advocate for increased research and accessibility to necessary supports and services for autistic people and their families.
As a board member of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA), Jill embodied the principles of collaborations. She contributed to the development of a Blueprint and a Roadmap presented to MPs, Senators and Federal agencies alongside CASDA colleagues, urging the federal government to implement a National Autism Strategy. Advocacy efforts continued with policy briefs, letter writing campaigns, news conferences and summits that ultimately led to a commitment by the federal government to develop a National Autism Strategy.
Under her leadership, Autism Speaks Canada’s funding of innovative research and commitment to diverse programming has grown. Participating collaboratively with autistic individuals, stakeholders, community partners and major corporate partners has resulted in spreading a message acceptance and inclusion across the country.
Her attention to diversifying revenue has been pivotal to the success of Autism Speaks Canada.
Jill holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (BA Sc) and Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto. She was a part of both the Canadian Autism Partnership Project, as a member of the working group, and the National Autism Surveillance System, as a part of the advisory group, both chaired by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Jill enjoys being active and taking care of herself by walking, running, strength training, biking, and practicing yoga. She has instilled her love of the outdoors and movement in her three beautiful children and can often be found cheering them on at sports events with her husband. She maintains strong bonds with the families whom she worked with as a therapist early on in her career and is grateful for all they have taught her.