An announcement from the Ontario government earlier this month committing $26 million in the province’s budget to support youth and families affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is being met with a mixed response.

The strategy lists six initiatives, which include providing one-stop access to information, funding for 56 FASD workers and parent support networks, increasing access to FASD initiatives developed by Indigenous partners, establishing consultation groups, and creating a research fund.


Do children with disabilities and their families know they have rights? Does Canada respect their rights? In Giving a Voice to Children’s Rights, a blog posting on March 31, 2017, Dr. Keiko Shikako Thomas laid out these intersecting issues arising in childhood disability and human rights in a Canadian context.

A few days later, Shikako-Thomas, co-lead of the Network's KT Core policy engagement project and other members of a Canadian delegation of civil society organizations (CSOs) appeared before the United Nations committee overseeing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Dr. Shikako-Thomas presented on the status of children with disabilities and responded to detailed questions as part of a compliance review in Geneva April 2-4. Canada became a 2010 signatory to the convention, and both the federal government and relevant NGOs participated in the review process.


Alexandra Foster sits alongside her son blowing bubbles, watching them drift across his bedroom. “Bubble!” enthuses three-year-old Hayden, making the sound of an ‘L’ for the first time in his life.

“Just hearing him say that word was such a happy moment for me,” says Foster. Last year, Hayden was diagnosed with autism. Up until then, he had been effectively non-verbal, meaning the few words he could say, Hayden used out of context.