17th December 2022 AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity has welcomed today’s announcement by Minister Anne Rabbitte TD, Minister of State for Disability, opening consultation on an Autism Innovation Strategy and outlining a three phase roadmap for the production, publication and implementation of the Strategy. The Minister made a commitment to an Autism Innovation Strategy, following engagement with the organisation, at the AsIAm World Autism Day Webinar on 2nd April this year.
Responding to the announcement, Adam Harris, Founder-CEO of AsIAm said “We warmly welcome the roadmap which has been outlined today which moves Ireland closer to finally having a National Strategy to empower autistic people, improve supports and promote autism accessibility in society. It is particularly welcome that autistic people and family members will have an opportunity to directly contribute their views to the Strategy and that autistic people will play a central role, working directly with the Minister, in advising and overseeing the Strategy.”
Members of the public can submit their views on what should be contained in the plan to Autism_Strategy@equality.gov.ie. Following this initial consultation, there will be an opportunity for autistic people and family members to apply to join a Strategy Advisory and Oversight Group, chaired by the Minister. This group will help to formulate a draft Strategy which will then be published for further consultation with the broader community.
“AsIAm has been campaigning for over 5 years for a coordinated, strengths-based and affirming approach to autism through a National Strategy. We really welcome the Minister taking this view onboard and making a commitment to move forward with it. Autistic people and our families face major barriers to participation across Irish life, services are at crisis point and the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a major toll on the wellbeing of many within our community. A whole of society approach to inclusion can make a major difference in empowering autistic people to fully participate and contribute in every aspect of Irish life – living healthier, happier and longer lives. In January, AsIAm will consult extensively in preparing a submission for the Department and look forward to progressing this urgently needed strategy for our community” he concluded