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January 2011



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First Published Wednesday, 29 April 2009

As a direct result of our I Exist campaign, and the phenomenal campaigning by you, The National Autistic Society’s (NAS) supporters, the Government will launch their first ever strategy for adults on the autism spectrum later this year. The strategy will set out the Government’s plans to tackle the isolation, discrimination and inequality routinely experienced by many adults with autism.

But first, the Government is asking everybody about what should be in the strategy. They want to know what you think would make a positive difference for adults with autism.

It is crucial that the Government hears from as many people as possible, including people with autism, families, professionals and carers about what we need from the new strategy. This amazing opportunity will not come again for a long, long time, so we must all take full advantage of it.

Find out how to respond the Government’s consultation here.

The rest of this page will tell you a bit more about why the Government is consulting with people affected by autism now.

Why is the Government consulting now?

Our supporters showed overwhelming support for the Autism Bill, which aims to address the devatstating lack of support for people with autism. This created pressure on Government, and led to them committing to making part of their adult autism strategy into statutory guidance. This means it will put legal duties on local authorities to do certain things within the strategy. As a result of our campaigning work around the Autism Bill, the Government has also committed to providing some funding for the implementation of the strategy.

The statutory guidance and the funding should help ensure that the strategy has real authority.

Advising the Governemnt on the adult autism strategy

Mark Lever, the NAS chief executive, has been chairing an external reference group to advise on the strategy, made up of people with autism, their families and others. The group identified the themes of health, social inclusion, employment, choice and control, and training as key to improving the lives of adults with autism.

Anya Ustaszewski, who is Vice Chair of the external reference group and an adult with autism, said:

“A lack of support and discrimination can leave people on the autistic spectrum isolated and vulnerable. I believe in the saying Nothing About Us Without Us. Therefore, I would strongly encourage all people on the autistic spectrum to use this consultation to tell the Government what you need to feel happy, safe, accepted and to give you equal and fair access to choice and opportunities in your life.”

You can read our press release about the the Government’s consultation in the ‘Related resources’ section at the bottom of this page.

Related resources

Relevant documents for downloading

Source:  http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=2251&a=19386

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