FASD Symposium

25 Jan, 2022

What is it?

The FASD Symposium is Eastern Canada’s largest annual gathering of everyone connected to the FASD community. This one-day interactive, educational event, with content available in English and French, attracts 400+ people each year. Our theme for 2022 was ‘A new look at addressing mental health including stigma faced by people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)’.

Who Attends?

  • People with FASD
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Families and Caregivers of People with FASD
  • Educators
  • Justice Professionals
  • Social Services Professionals
  • Those with an interest in FASD

For a complete list of who attended the 2022 event, visit our Who’s Coming page.

2022 Event

The 2022 event took place virtually on January 25th. One of the many highlights at the 5th annual edition of the Symposium was the personal stories shared by those living with FASD and a powerful Q & A session between delegates and some of the Symposium speakers. For more information about ABLE2’s Fetal Alcohol Resource Program, click here.

Listen to Reinier deSmit’s interview with CBC Ottawa Morning as he talks about being diagnosed with FASD later in life. Reinier was a presenter at the 2022 Symposium.

2023 Event

Plans for the 2023 edition of the FASD Symposium will be announced soon. In the meantime, learn about other FASD-related events and programs offered by ABLE2. If you have any questions about FASD events hosted by ABLE2, contact us at events@able2.org.

Why Should You Attend?

This Symposium is for anyone who recognises that they interact regularly with people with FASD – at work, at school, at home and in the community – and want advice on strategies to improve these interactions. If you want to learn more about how to support people with FASD, need support yourself, or wish to learn from others, the FASD Symposium is for you.

This conference is designed to not only provide tools for working with individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder but will also provide in-depth learning for those working in the education, health, mental health, child development, law enforcement, corrections, child welfare, and social services sectors.

We all have a role to play in increasing awareness about how alcohol impacts unborn babies, and supporting people with FASD and their families. FASD affects +/– 1.5 M Canadians – There is no safe amount, no safe type, and no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Highlights from Past Events

The FASD Symposium 2021 was a fantastic event with over 450 virtual attendees featuring over 25 sessions and presentations in English and French and 33 speakers/presenters (experts with lived experience and professionals who support those with FASD). We were also lucky enough to be featured on the CBC Ottawa Morning show on Monday, January 25 – listen here.

ABLE2 would like to thank the 300 delegates who attended the 5th annual edition of the Symposium in 2022 and our event sponsors and partners. Check out this interview on Ottawa Morning with Robyn Bresnahan featuring Reinier deSmit’s journey to obtain a FASD diagnosis. We also encourage you to learn more about the incredible story of Cyntoia Brown-Long, one of the Symposium Keynote speakers, by reading her book, Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System, or watching the Netflix documentary that chronicles her arrest, diagnosis with FASD and release from prison.

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