In Past Events, Research, Training

Partnering with Individuals with Autism and their Families in Research

April 12th, 2021

Join us for a virtual panel discussion with Associate Professor Dr. Aparna Nadig, autism advocate Matthew Dever and a parent of child with autism. These speakers will share their perspectives and advice with emerging researchers seeking to facilitate participation and engagement of autistic individuals and their families in studies. They will discuss their unique experiences with regards to research inclusivity and accessibility and highlight what they see as top priorities for the research agenda. Attendees will learn about potential avenues for disseminating results of their research in ways that are particularly meaningful for the autism community.

Learning objectives:

Attendees will learn:

  • how to define research goals that are tailored to address the needs of the autism community;
  • about individuals with autism, their families, and researchers’ experiences concerning research participation and engagement;
  • how to increase the involvement of the autism community in research;
  • how to better disseminate research findings to the autism community.

Speakers’ bio:

Dr. Aparna Nadig is an Associate Professor at McGill University in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her basic line of research focuses on social cognition and language development in neurotypicals and people on the autism spectrum, from early development through adulthood. In her applied line of work, she promotes the social inclusion of autistic individuals by designing innovative support and intervention services, working in partnership with people on the autism spectrum, practitioners, and community organizations. With Dr. Tara Flanagan, Dr. Nadig co-developed the McGill Transition Support Program to support young adults on the autism spectrum during their transition from school to the community. She led the Partnership for Employment Support, a project aiming to reduce societal barriers and promote evidence-based supports to facilitate the employment of people on the autism spectrum and people with intellectual disability. She is co-chair of the Community Engagement Committee of the Transforming Autism Care Consortium (TACC), and a member of l’Équipe de recherche pour l’inclusion sociale en autism (ÉRISA).

Matthew Dever (they/them) is an autistic adult who advocates for the acceptance and inclusion of autistic individuals and for the consideration of autistic individuals in policy decisions at both the provincial and federal level. They are a former member of the Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel and a current member of the Ontario Autism Program Implementation Working Group and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA). Matthew is also a leader in the National Disability Strategy movement, which aspires to provide the autism community with the supports and accommodations that meet its needs. In addition, Matthew has spoken at many workshops and panels to educate both students and professionals on issues related to autism.

A parent* of a child with autism who is also an advocate of the autism community and a Community Ambassador for TACC. She serves on the board of directors of the West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped (WIAIH), an organization that strives to improve the quality of life of individuals with autism and their families. She also collaborated with Dr. Aparna Nadig on the Partnership for Employment Support program promoting inclusive employment for people with autism. In addition, she is interested in the research and development of services, programs and resources that will better support the needs of the autism community.

*Name withheld by request

April 12, 2021

Online Event–this link will be made available to those who register

Target Audience
This event is open to QART fellows and TACC student members only

Click here


This workshop is organized by the following QART fellows:

Pascale Patenaude (MSc student at McGill), Alexa Meilleur (PhD student at UQAM) and Jeffrey McCrossin (PhD student at McGill)

A few words on the organizers:

Pascale is a second-year master’s student in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience at McGill University.  She is conducting her research in Dr. Xiaoqian Chai’s lab where she is investigating the development of episodic memory deficits in Autism.

Alexa is a second-year doctoral student in clinical psychology at UQAM. Her research focuses on special interests and passion in autism, under the supervision of Dr. Isabelle Soulières.

Jeff is in his second year of the PhD program at the School of Social Work at McGill. He has worked as a social worker and family therapist in community mental health and paediatric rehabilitation settings. His research is focused on the experience of families navigating and accessing supports.