Representing Members

Representing Members

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.

  1. National Assistance Card
  2. Disability Services Act Review
  3. State Election 2021
  4. Senate Selection Committee on Autism
  5. Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
  6. NDIS submissions
  7. National Disability Strategy
  8. Tasmanian – Accessible Island
  9. Local Councils Accessibility action plans


  1. 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


  2. Disability Services Act Review

DSA Review








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.

A discussion paper has been released and asks key questions on where improvements can be made. You can read the paper and take part here.

Autism Tasmania is preparing a submission on behalf of our community. Our top six points for this are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Do you agree? We want to hear your feedback, tell us what you think here.


  3. State Election 2021

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:

  1. $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.
  1. $350 000 per annum to recruit Allied Health practitioners to reduce the children assessment waiting lists. 
  2. $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

  4. Senate Select Committee on Autism

In October 2021, the Senate Select Committee will report 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.

  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 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 Outcome for Tasmanian autistic community
Interventions for children on the autism spectrum Submissions close 14 May 21 Discussion paper and submission details are here.

Alliance submission TBA

Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential  Submissions closed 23 Feb 21. View NDIS paper here

View Alliance submission here

Independent Assessments -: Changes to the NDIA. Submissions closed

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. 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  (

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.





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