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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.
- National Autism Strategy
- Senate Select Committee on Autism
- Tasmanian Autism Alliance
- National Guidelines
- 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
- Federal Election
1. National Autism Strategy
A National Autism Strategy was identified to be needed to improve the life outcomes of Autistic Australians.
Autism Tasmania is a founding member of the Australian Autism Alliance.
Together we asked for this pre-election and the Australian government responded with a commitment to the co-design and development of a National Autism Strategy (Strategy) that is informed by the experiences of autistic people, their families and carers, and those who work to support them.
This will involve a comprehensive co-design and national consultation process that will draw in views from the full diversity and representative range of the autistic community and the autism and disability sectors.
The national consultation process and co-design of the Strategy are to be guided by an Oversight Council and assisted by four Working Groups considering:
- Social inclusion.
- Economic inclusion.
- Diagnosis, supports and services.
- National Roadmap to Improve the Health and Mental Health of Autistic People.
The members of the Oversight Council and the first three Working Groups are to be appointed by the Minister for Social Services, The Hon. Amanda Rishworth MP, who has overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the Strategy. The National Roadmap to Improve the Health and Mental Health of Autistic People Working Group is being established by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care.
In keeping with the Government’s commitment to co-design, the Oversight Council and Working Groups are to have autistic and autism community representation alongside researchers, professionals and government representatives.
The Australian Autism Alliance is one of the organisations that has been asked to manage an Expression of Interest process from the autistic and autism community, to assist with appointments to the Oversight Council and the first three Working Groups. The aim is to have the Oversight Council and Working Groups operating as soon as possible. The Autism CRC and the Australasian Society for Autism Research are managing the Expression of Interest process from researchers and professionals (eg health, education, social work).
Given the diversity of the autistic community, it is important that the Oversight Council and the Working Groups bring experience and understanding of many individual perspectives. This includes an individual’s background, identities and roles. An individual member may bring experience from multiple perspectives.
The Oversight Council will, as a collective, bring significant and contemporary experience, skills and understanding of the many strengths and challenges of the autistic community. The same applies to each working group.
How to Express your Interest close on 12 noon Monday 27 March 2023
We encourage you or anyone else you think relevant to consider expressing your interest in participating in the Oversight Council and/or Working Groups 1, 2, or 3, by clicking on this link: https://www.tfaforms.com/5049568
This link will take you to information that includes more detailed Background Information and Frequently Asked Questions document and the expression of interest form.
We look forward to the National Autism Strategy being developed WITH THE VOICE OF TASMANIANS and implemented in a way that makes an impactful difference to improving the lives of Autistic Australians and their families.
2. 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
3. Tasmanian Autism Alliance
4. National Guidelines
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.
Read the full Autism Tasmania submission here.
5. 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
6. NDIS Submissions
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
7. 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.
8. Tasmanian – Accessible Island
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.
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.
9. 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.
10. State Election and Budgets
11. Federal Election
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