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Task Force Members

Ariel Cascio

Dr. Ariel Cascio is an Assistant Professor in the Art of Medicine at Central Michigan University College of Medicine. This project began when Ariel was a postdoctoral researcher at the Neuroethics Research Unit of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal and the Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery at McGill University. Ariel has a Ph.D. in anthropology and studies autism with a focus on social, cultural, and ethical issues.

Jonathan Weiss

Dr. Jonathan Weiss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University, a Clinical Psychologist, and holds the Chair in ASD Treatment and Care Research. 

Eric Racine

Eric Racine, Ph.D., is Director of the Neuroethics Research Unit and Full Research Professor at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, Canada. Inspired by philosophical pragmatism, his research aims to understand and bring to the forefront the experience of ethically problematic situations by patients and stakeholders and then to resolve them collaboratively through deliberative and evidenced-informed processes.

Franco Carnevale

Franco A. Carnevale is a nurse, psychologist and clinical ethicist. He completed his undergraduate nursing degree, and three master's degrees in nursing, education, and bioethics, as well as a doctorate in counseling psychology at McGill University. He also completed a master’s degree in philosophy at Université de Sherbrooke and a second doctorate in moral philosophy at Université Laval. In addition, he completed graduate studies in health law, anthropology, and cultural psychiatry. Dr. Carnevale's primary research interests include a wide range of concerns in pediatric ethics. Dr. Carnevale is the founder and principal investigator for VOICE (i.e., Views On Interdisciplinary Childhood Ethics); a McGill-based international initiative to advance knowledge and practices relating to ethical concerns in childhood.  Dr. Carnevale’s current academic appointments include (all at McGill University): Full Professor, Ingram School of Nursing; Associate Member, Faculty of Medicine (Pediatrics); Adjunct Professor, Counselling Psychology; Affiliate Member, Biomedical Ethics Unit. His clinical appointments include: Clinical Ethicist for Child, Adolescent, and Family Services and Director of the Nursing Research Program (Research Centre) at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute; Chair of the Clinical Ethics Committee at the Shriner's Hospitals for Children (Canada); Clinical Ethics Consultant at Le Phare, Enfants et Familles (pediatric hospice and respite care); and Associate Member of Pediatric Critical Care, Nursing Advisor, and Past-Chair (1997-2016) of the Pediatric Ethics Committee, all at the Montreal Children's Hospital-McGill University Health Centre. 

Mathieu Dubois

Mathieu Dubois has over ten years of experiences in technology and management. He is the manager of ADLG and Autists at work to do commercial and research projects. He is currently doing a post-doctoral fellowship at HEC Montréal. He completed two Executive MBAs at UQAM and Paris Dauphine, France. He has a PhD in computer science at the University of Montreal and a specialized graduate degree in management at HEC Montreal. He is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal and Ecole de Technologie Supérieure in electrical engineering. He is autistic.

Bei Evely

Bei Evely is an advocate for neurodiversity in their personal and academic lives. They are currently attending McGill University to complete their undergraduate studies in anthropology and gender theory. Their research interests include clinical ethics, identity theory, and disability community dynamics.

Arden C. Fiala

I live in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan with my husband Calvin, and we have two children. Our daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome twelve years ago, just before she started Grade 3. Our son just graduated from High School this past June.

I hold a Bachelor of Education Degree, (with a major of Special Education ~ Level II Certification) and two certificates in the Human Services Field. In the spring of 2008, I was named to the Provincial Autism Advisory Committee and recently named to the ASD Reference Group for the Ministry of Health. I am now the President of SaskFEAT, and Saskatchewan Representative – Provincial and Territorial Council – Autism Canada.

Through the Autism Society Canada, I was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for my contributions to the betterment of the Autism Community in Canada, in 2012.

I balance a few “jobs”, besides volunteering with SaskFEAT and Autism Canada; being a Childcare and Home Management Specialist (a.k.a. Mom), Substitute Teacher, Recycling Technician, Commissioner and a Photographer with my business SNAPS and Productions by A.C.

There are many challenges facing persons with Autism there are two that are most important to me. The first is the challenge of building Autism Awareness, for to me, awareness is the foundation/key. The other is the challenge of securing equal access for services and qualified professionals for all individuals with ASDs, especially in rural and northern Saskatchewan.

I am looking forward to my tenure on this task force.

Kristian Hooker

Kristian Hooker is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg in Rhetoric, Writing and Communications. Upon graduation, he formed the business H.A.L.E Autism that focuses primarily on social skills programs for students on the Autism Spectrum in First Nations Communities. He’s a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his self-advocacy in the Autism Community. His key interest is adequate supports into the transition of adulthood and has developed the innovative Reverse Job Fair in Manitoba. 

Malvina Klag

Malvina Klag has over twenty five years of leadership and consulting experience that spans:  1) large multinational corporations including Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), Johnson & Johnson and Bristol-Myers Squibb, 2) a large hospital (The McGill University Health Centre) and 3) multiple health sector organizations at the start-up phase. 


Malvina’s achievements lie in the areas of strategic visioning, the structuring of organizational change and organizational start-ups, and stakeholder relationship-building.  

Malvina completed her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management, her PhD in organizational behavior at McGill University, and two post-doctoral fellowships at UQAM and HEC Montréal.  She is currently a research fellow at HEC Montréal.  Her current research centers around qualitative methods, strategic planning, and organizational change in pluralistic settings.

Annick Lavogiez

Annick Lavogiez is a project coordinator for the Fédération québécoise de l’autisme. The Fédération québécoise de l’autisme was founded 40 years to provide services for the well being of autistic persons and their families. Its mission: “to mobilize all concerned stakeholders to promote the well being of persons, educate and inform population about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the experiences of affected families, and contribute to the development and dissemination of knowledge” about autism in Quebec.

Wendy Mitchell

Dr. Wendy Mitchell is the National Program Development Manager for the Worktopia Project that is designed to improve the employment futures of youth and young adults ages 15-29 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they transition from high school to independent adulthood. Wendy’ doctoral studies focused on the communication profile of young adults with ASD during an employment interview. She has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for over 20 years.

Nancy Noseworthy

Nancy Noseworthy is the Regional Inclusive Schooling Coordinator for the Dehcho Divisional Education Council in Fort Simpson, NT.  Nancy graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Education, Special Education and Masters in Education in Counselling Psychology. She finished a Post Bachelors Certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Calgary with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nancy’s passion for ASD comes from her experience working with individuals in the remote areas of Canada’s North. Improving services and programming for Individuals’ with ASD has been the focus of her work.

Jessica Pigeau

Jessica Pigeau is a master of arts student at the University of Alberta with a specialty in cultural studies, French-English translation, and autobiographical depictions of autism. She was diagnosed with ASD as a teenager and has worked in autism advocacy for the past five years.

Connie Putterman

Connie’s involvement as a public speaker, advocate, and advisor in the autism research community spans over 17 years, since her son’s ASD diagnosis at eighteen months.  She is an advocate for parent participation and engagement in autism research and inclusion initiatives. She has been involved with various brain health research institutes in Canada on numerous committees including knowledge translation, patient advisory and advocacy.  She frequently is a guest speaker at autism and neurodevelopmental research/ parent conferences and presentations in both Canada and Israel.   She is the founder and visionary of the Canada/Israel Autism Research initiative, a private initiative fostering collaborations between Canadian and Israeli autism researchers.  Her blog-the Parent Link, and Ted Talk-Finding your WAZE, reflect her perspectives.  Along with her many years of advancing partnerships in the academic/research sector, she has also worked in the corporate sector and most recently has helped corporations hire people with autism. She is currently in her first year of a Masters of Health Sciences in Translational Research at the University of Toronto.

Esther Rhee

Esther Rhee is the National Program Director at Autism Speaks Canada. Esther’s work in the ASD community has focused on building community capacity, collaboration, program development and navigation support strategies. Esther also works as a Clinical Therapist focusing on child and adult mental health. Esther received her Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and also holds a B.A.H in Philosophy from the University of Guelph. 

Margaret Spoelstra

Margaret Spoelstra has worked for 40 years with people with a variety of learning needs, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. As an educator she has worked with children, teens and adults, their families and the professionals and community leaders who support them in the U.S. and Canada in various community, educational and research settings. She has been the Executive Director of Autism Ontario since 2001. She is a team member of the Patient Advisory Committee for the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network and for the Community Advisory Council at Toronto East General Hospital.  She was appointed as a Member to the Order of Canada in December 2011.

Zari Yaraghi

Dr. Zari Yaraghi is currently one of the Directors of Autism Canada. Zari has a Masters degree in Microbiology from the University of Tubingen in Germany and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa.

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