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Webinar: Supporting Housing and Independent Living for Autistic People and Disabled People

AsIAm, Ireland’s Autism Charity, are proud to be Grant-Funded Members of the Disability Participation and Consultation Network, which is supported by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. As part of our work with the Network, AsIAm will be hosting a webinar on the topic of Housing, and Independent Living and being Included in the Community (Article 19) under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). This is about more than having access to housing, but also about having the opportunity to decide where and with who you want to live with, any supports (Personal Assistants) or facilities (accessible transport, access to nature, etc), you want, and what type of community that you want to live in that best meets your needs.  

This webinar covered what Independent Living is according to the UNCRPD, EU and Irish policies and perspectives on how Ireland and other countries put independent living into practice, how housing can be more accessible to Autistic people and our community, and AsIAm’s work on highlighting these issues.    

Since 2014, AsIAm’s work in supporting Autistic people across Ireland has included advocating for our community to have the same chance to access housing and being included in their community, as we know housing plays a key part in making sure that all Autistic people have the right to dignity, choice and control over their lives, and to feel accepted and included as themselves. However, our Same Chance Report shows many Autistic people face barriers to enjoying these rights, and can experience greater feelings of loneliness, social exclusion, and not feeling safe to be themselves. These include:

  • 27% believed that their current housing situation did meet their needs;
  • 63% do not believe they are supported well enough to live independently in the community;
  • 38% said that they felt lonely either all or most of the time;
  • 39% said that they do not feel safe and protected within their community;
  • 36% said that they or their family member experienced discrimination in the past year on the grounds of being Autistic;

Speakers for the webinar:

  • Haydn Hammersley (Social Policy Coordinator, European Disability Forum);
  • Jaimie Williams (Member of Wexford Housing & Disability Steering Group & Director, DreamBig Foundation)
  • Carl Morris (Policy Officer, AsIAm)
  • Dani Burns (NSAI Universal Design Dwellings Committee & Founder of Interior Snoop)

Watch it back here:

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