AutismBC is seeking nominations of individuals, organizations and businesses for its 2020 BC Autism Awards and is calling for those from northern B.C.
The organization says, in B.C. today, there are more than 60,000 people on the autism spectrum including one in 40 diagnosed.
Thousands of families across the province rely on services and support. AutismBC has been serving the autistic community since 1975 and helps provide support to more than 6,000 individuals per year.
"The awards, called ‘The Heroes in Our Story’, aims to celebrate everyday people who are changing the narrative of autism and inclusion through work that has had a positive impact on the autism community, whether, through volunteering, inclusive hiring practises, or championing opportunities for autistic people in their communities," a release reads. "The awards will be acknowledging their commitment and sharing their stories to inspire and encourage others."
Last year, Christine Danroth from Prince Rupert received the 2019 Northern BC Community Impact Community Award. She has gone through the struggle families face getting information and services to support their child.
Danroth's son was diagnosed with autism.
“Christine's passion towards advocacy for children with Autism really shows in her son's success and the children she works with,” Christine’s nominator added in the news release.
“She works with children with diverse needs and has provided parents and early interventionists with workshops, and consultations with parents. I truly believe she is making a difference in children because they are able to be part of everyday activities in school and out of school.”
Winners in each category of the awards also received $1,000 sponsored by local businesses that will go towards a project that promotes inclusion and diversity within their community.
"It meant a lot to me to win this award,” Danroth said.
“I wanted to make a difference by supporting families in finding their child's strengths and advocating for needs. I want them to feel supported and connected. Winning the award made me feel that I must be accomplishing some of my goals. We live in the North where access to services is not available, so many families have to get creative. Our community has tremendous needs. I have met so many other families, and it's my hope to always help families find their strength and way with their children. The best advice I received was to work on their strengths, and that is what I continue to do."
Nominations are now open with an Aug. 28 deadline. Winners will be announced on Oct. 25.
Award categories include Volunteer, Self-Advocate, Inclusive Bussiness and Regional Community Impact Makers of the Year.
If you would like to nominate an autism hero for the BC Autism Awards, you can the organization website.