About the Journal

LANGUAGE POLICY & JOURNAL PHILOSOPHY

At the Canadian Journal of Autism Equity (CJAE), our goal is amplifying autistic voices and getting them to the attention of researchers, academics, and other policy makers. To that end, we do not impose or enforce a specific language standard on people writing about their experiences. We realize that many in the autistic community may have a preference for certain types of referential language, like identity-first language (‘autistic’ person) compared to person-first language (person with autism), and that there is also controversy within the autistic community around use of certain terms relating to older diagnostic terms that have been adopted by some in the autistic community (‘aspie’). We also understand that there are different beliefs within the autistic community as to which language standards are ‘correct’. We feel that to try and impose a language standard upon other peoples’ experience and how they refer to themselves would undermine their autonomy and their self-determination. Therefore, we do not prescribe any particular language standard regarding referential language as it relates to submissions wherein autistic authors are referring to their own experiences as we want to amplify their voices, not replace their voices with the voices of others.

AIM & SCOPE

1. A discussion on equity in the autism and disability sector in light of challenges related to equity.

2. The Editorial Board will look primarily for authors with lived experience included in submissions, and, when possible, a minimum of 50% of published pieces will be authored by Autistic people.

3. Provide resources to inform decision-makers about barriers to equity faced by members of the community.

4. The Editorial Board in collaboration with the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) may develop Equity Toolkits, related to issue themes, based on lessons learned from the Journal to be shared with decision-makers.

HISTORY

Voices of the disabled community have been consistently unaccounted for, hinting at a larger systemic problem of ableism in Canadian society, further exacerbated by the early societal implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2020, a committee of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA), an alliance that advocates for an equitable Canada for Autistic Canadians, met and thoroughly examined barriers to equity within CASDA itself. This committee discussed the disparities both within and outside the Alliance and who, in reality, had a voice in society. These conversations are not over within CASDA and the autism sector. One thing is certain: Autistic and marginalized voices need a platform beyond social media for advocacy. At the end of 2020, CASDA, with an agreement that “we need to do better” at listening to Autistic voices and marginalized voices within the autism community within policy, founded the Canadian Journal of Autism Equity. To learn more about CASDA, please visit casda.ca!

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