Autism Tasmania works to ensure that the voice of the Tasmanian Autistic community is heard – loud and clear!
We work to shape the programs and policies at local, state, and national levels. This includes submissions to influence the range of reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Your views are valued. To share them please contact our CEO:
The details of our current advocacy activities are set out under the below sections.
- Federal Election
- National Assistance Card
- Disability Services Act Review Submission
- Tasmanian Autism Alliance
- Senate Select Committee on Autism
- Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
- NDIS submissions
- National Disability Strategy
- Tasmanian – Accessible Island
- Local Councils Accessibility action plans
- State Election and Budgets
1. Federal Election
You can help
The Australian Federal Election is coming up in 2022.
As part of the Australian Autism Alliance, Autism Tasmania is calling for all federal government candidates to pledge their commitment to the following:
- Ensure that Medicare-funded diagnosis is available for all Australians.
- Develop and fund a National Autism Strategy, co-designed with autistic people and their advocates, to provide a coordinated national approach.
- Convene an Autism and COVID Summit in 2022 to identify initiatives in education, training, employment, and mental health that address the longtail adverse health, social and economic impacts of COVID.
- Develop a National Roadmap to improve health and mental health outcomes as has been done for people with intellectual disability, given the appalling health and mental health inequalities currently faced.
- Ensure an enduring and effective National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by recommitting to its original vision. Disability supports must be continually improved by:
- Expanding support and services for those not eligible for individual NDIS support packages.
- Stronger regulation and care standards to ensure quality supports and to protect participants’ safety.
- More deliberate market stewardship to ensure better access to services across Australia.
- Co-design in planning and delivery with autistic people, their families, and representative organisations.
View the full call to action here.
View the candidates’ Pledge on a Page.
Autism Tasmania is a member of the Australian Autism Alliance, helping to drive the Shifting the Dial on Autism campaign. Find out more here.
2. National Assistance Card
The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania (BIAT) has been trialling an assistance card locally in Tasmania for people with brain injury to carry with them and help communicate what they might need assistance with. This program was so successful that the Australian Government is now funding BIAT to launch it nationally.
At Autism Tasmania we recognise the value of a card like this and how it could be tailored to suit the autistic community in communicating their needs with others. We’re looking forward to working together with BIAT in the New Year on customising the National Assistance Card to suit people on the autism spectrum.
What do you think should be included? How can we make this card best suit your needs? Let us know by e-mailing email@example.com.
3. Disability Services Act Review Submission
The Disability Services Act (DSA) 2011 is being reviewed and everyone is invited to share ideas on how to best legislate to promote the health and wellbeing of people with disability as well as ensuring quality services.
Autism Tasmania has prepared a submission on behalf of our community. Our top six points for this are:
- Statewide consistency – the DSA rules should apply regardless of which provider funds or delivers the services and supports; and regardless of whether a provider is mainstream, community-based, or disability specialised.
- Removing the gaps – in recognition that both the number of NDIS participants and the value of their plans will decrease; demand for local services and supports will increase. Autism is disproportionately impacted and individual advocacy is the link to ensure people do not fall through the cracks between the state and national services.
- Recognising an increased demand for individual advocacy – neurodiversity represents a unique individual advocacy role that relies on specific subject matter knowledge and highly tailored capacity building of both the neurodiverse and neurotypical communities. Without expertise in this area, the impact on economic and social inclusion will be reduced. It is unfair to require generic advocacy services to be experts in autism.
- Linking national programs with local services – requiring nationally funded programs to link fully with local services prior to deploying in Tasmania. Our community must have access to fully wrapped around services and supports that they can choose from rather than having to join the dots themselves.
- Aim for prevention before regulation – in regard to educating businesses in neurodiversity; staff should have access to training proactively as part of their induction, rather than reactively e.g. in response to an incident or complaint.
- Mandate accredited training for all front line service delivery and HR staff – people in these roles should be able to demonstrate competency in neurodiversity appropriate practice and environment inclusion.
4. Tasmanian Autism Alliance
5. Senate Select Committee on Autism
“Life outcomes for autistic Australians are unacceptably poor. This comes at an enormous personal, social and economic cost. Meaningful systemic changes would have an enormous impact… Generic disability strategies have proven ineffective at improving life outcomes for autistic people. A National Autism Strategy should form the centrepiece of efforts to improve outcomes for autistic Australians.”
– Executive Summary from the Senate Inquiry into Autism
Senate Inquiry Report Background:
In November 2019, the Australian Government announced a Senate Inquiry into the services, supports and life outcomes for autistic people. The objective was to identify ‘productive and meaningful ways to improve services and support for autistic people in the areas of education, healthcare, employment, housing, justice and rights’.
In October 2021, the Senate Select Committee reported on the services, support, and life outcomes for autistic people. The Committee is currently conducting public hearings across Australia.
Autism Tasmania is an active member of the Australian Autism Alliance and are calling for a National Autism Strategy to be established.
Our submission titled the Autism Dividend provides deep insights into the lived-experience of autistic people and offers considered and strategic options to reforms.
See full copy of the report here: Download Senate Report
6. Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
This Royal Commission is dealing with one of the most confronting issues for people. Autism Tasmania monitors this Royal Commission and informs membership.
The Disability Royal Commission is holding a series of public hearings around the country to gather evidence about violence, neglect, abuse and exploitation of people with disability.
Access counselling and support here
Learn more here
7. NDIS consultations
The NDIS continues to be fine-tuned and Autism Tasmania as part of the Australian Autism Alliance is active in representing the views of the Tasmanian Autistic community.
The details of submissions are below.
|Topic||Status||Further information||Successful advocacy
to stop IA’s
Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS –
14 April, 2022
|View the Joint Standing
Committee on the NDIS here
Autism Advisory Group Communications
|June 2021||View the June 2021 communique here||Nil, New|
Independent Assessments – Changes to the NDIA
23 Feb 21
View NDIS response here
View Alliance submission here
8. National Disability Strategy
Accessible Island links to the National Disability Strategy 2010 – 2020 which outlines a 10-year national policy framework for improving the lives of Australians with disability, their families and carers.
The framework has expired and a new 10- year framework will be released in 2021.
Autism Tasmania is an active member of the Australian Autism Alliance and called for this framework to include strategies the improve the following for the autism community:
- inclusive and accessible communities.
- rights, protection, justice, and legislation.
- economic security.
- personal and community support.
- learning and skills; and
- health and wellbeing.
9. Accessible Island: Tasmania’s Disability Framework for action
Accessible Island links to the National Disability Strategy and is the third state of a whole-of-government approach to ensure that all government departments implement socially just policies and practices. View the 2018-2021 DFA here (https://www.communities.tas.gov.au/csr/policy/Policy_Work/accessible_island_tasmanias_disability_framework_for_action_2018-2021_dfa).
The above site also includes includes the Action Plans for all Tasmanian Government Departments. Each department provides and annual progress report to the Premiers Disability Advisory Council.
Autism Tasmania will help shape the new Accessible Island plan.
10. Local Councils Accessibility action plans
Local Councils play a critical role in access and participation for the autistic community.
Autism Tasmania is active in helping local councils craft autistic friendly services and events.
A report on progress is here.
11. State Election and Budgets
The Tasmanian State Election is on 1 May 2021. Make your vote count.
Autism Tasmania is calling for all candidates to pledge their commit to the following:
- $50,000 per annum to reconvene Tasmanian Autism Advisory Panel to:
- Assess the impact of the ongoing retraction of the NDIS which exposes Tasmanians with Autism to unfair disadvantage.
- Coordinate statewide responses to the new National Disability Strategy, Senate Select Committee on Autism.
- $350 000 per annum to recruit Allied Health practitioners to reduce the children assessment waiting lists.
- $500 000 per annum to enable in social and economic participation for autistic Tasmanians:
- Autism awareness training for all front-line government employees.
- New HR recruitment processes and application mentoring to increase employment of autistic Tasmanians.
View the full call for action here
View the candidates Pledge on a Page here
You can help – download the call for action to take to your local candidates here
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