Meet Your Speakers
Matthew Jason Dever
Matthew Dever (they/them) is an Autistic adult and parent of five children with three also on the autism spectrum, living in Carleton Place in rural Eastern Ontario. Matthew advocates with both provincial and federal governments for inclusion and acceptance of autistic individuals and for autistic people to have their own voice in policy decisions. Matthew is a former member of the Ontario Autism Program Advisory Panel, and a current member of the Ontario Autism Program Implementation Working Group.
Matthew is founder of Autistic Bridge, an autistic-led self-advocacy group, and a leader in the National Disability Strategy movement to build a nationwide coalition of disability organizations to advocate for meeting all needs of all disabilities at all ages. They are also a member of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA), where they are helping with aspects of developing a National Autism Strategy as well as speaking at the annual CASDA Summit.
Matthew has also led workshops and panels on topics surrounding autism and education. They have spoken about autism with many groups including ECHO Autism Ontario, which works to educate and inform health professionals on issues related to autism. They have recently joined the ECHO Autism Ontario Expert Hub Team.
In Matthew’s “spare time”, they are a web and graphic designer.