ADHD Advocacy: CADDAC’s Role and Your Role
One of CADDAC’s primary goals is assisting parents and caregivers as well as adults with ADHD in their advocacy efforts. However, doing so on an individual basis for everyone across Canada would be impossible due to time restraints. While helping an individual child obtain the accommodations they require in the school system, or assisting a child or adult on benefits obtain the appropriate medication is the goal, accomplishing this through individual advocacy efforts can also be impossible due to existing systemic barriers. For this reason, we believe that CADDAC can be most effective in providing information on individual advocacy, while systemically advocating for change on ADHD issues to eliminate these barriers.
What is Systemic Advocacy?
- Advocating to effect change on a broad level
- Advocating for change in the system
- Advocating for a cause
- Advocating as a united voice
Why do we need to Advocate for ADHD?
- ADHD may still not be accepted as a legitimate disability due to lack of knowledge
- Up-to-date scientific information is not readily available
- Misconceptions are readily available
- The health and education systems have not kept pace with science
- The need for a unified voice, advocating for ADHD
What do we need to Advocate for?
- The understanding of ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder
- Increased knowledge and awareness of ADHD in the medical and educational communities
- Increased awareness and understanding by the public
- A decrease in stigma
- The identification of students with ADHD as students with special learning needs
- The recognition that successful outcomes are possible when appropriate resources and supports are supplied
- Increased networking between the disciplines of medicine and education
- Equal access too appropriate medication and psychosocial treatments
- The Provincial Ministries of Education, Health and Community working together to solve problems, create resources and provide support
- Networking between all stakeholders
Without the combined voices of people impacted by and interested in ADHD, CADDAC alone cannot hope to effect change! CADDAC needs families and individuals with an interest in ADHD to speak up in order to be heard. We cannot do it without your help! For more information on this topic and to learn how you can be an effective advocate please access our advocacy toolkit.
How You Can Help
If you are interested in these issues, we strongly encourage you to write a letter to your MP, MPP, MNA or MLA, as well as your Minister in the area of Health, Education, Child and Youth, Social Services, Justice, or any other ministries that you feel should be informed about ADHD. Let them know why you are interested and why they should be interested. When meeting with government representatives, we are frequently told that they do not hear from their constituents on this topic; and they are, therefore, not overly interested in becoming involved. Governments estimate that every letter they receive on a topic represents an additional 50 to 60 people also concerned about that topic who have not written a letter; so please know that your one letter is of great value. Another way for your voice to be heard is by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
You can access helpful instructions and our template letters, as well as information on how to find your legislative representative’s contact information. In addition, we would ask that you forward your letter to CADDAC at firstname.lastname@example.org