BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal
Autism Ontario

Autism Ontario

March 31, 2014 09:00 ET

Autism Ontario Encourages Communities Across the Province to Support World Autism Awareness Day by Raising the Flag

Autism Ontario welcomes elementary and secondary schools to participate and 'Raise the Flag' in support of raising autism awareness in Ontario

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 31, 2014) - For the second consecutive year, Autism Ontario formally recognizes World Autism Awareness Day by inviting all municipalities to Raise the Flag in support of people and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Following the success of the first annual campaign last year, Autism Ontario is expanding the campaign to include both elementary and secondary schools in Ontario.

With support from BMO Financial Group, Autism Ontario has sent campaign flags to municipality offices and schools across the province asking communities to raise these flags on April 2nd, 2014, to increase awareness and encourage support and inclusiveness for individuals with ASD.

"An estimated 100,000 Ontarians are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder and require support daily, however awareness and understanding of this issue remains quite low," said Margaret Spoelstra, Executive Director, Autism Ontario. "By including local schools in the campaign, we can further inform the greater community on how to build a welcoming, supportive environment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder."

ASD is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and impacts the typical development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Support across a lifespan is critical; children with autism grow up to be adults with autism and every day, families struggle as they look for support, resources and services for their loved ones with ASD.

"BMO is committed to assisting the communities in which we live and operate by helping to foster an inclusive and supportive environment that celebrates diversity and accommodates people with disabilities," said James Kelsey, Senior Vice President, BMO Financial Group. "As someone whose family has been touched with autism, I am pleased that BMO continues to support Autism Ontario through its Raise the Flag campaign in its effort to create awareness of ASD."

About Autism Ontario

Autism Ontario, formerly Autism Society Ontario, is a not-for-profit charitable organization founded in 1973 by a group of parents of children with autism. For 40 years, Autism Ontario has been a strong collective voice for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families in local communities. Our members, and local residents, are connected through a volunteer network of more than 20 Chapters throughout the Province of Ontario.

About BMO Donations

For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2013, BMO contributed more than $56 million in community donations to charitable, not-for-profit and community based institutions and organizations that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

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