Australians with autism, their families and carers were urged to have their say about their experiences of living with the condition in a nation-wide survey, which closed on Monday 29 June.
The survey was developed by the Australian Autism Alliance, a network of organisations representing people with autism, in response to information sought by the Federal Government's Select Committee on Autism.
The Senate Select Committee on Autism is examining the experiences, services and support of Australians living with autism as they consider the development of a National Autism Strategy.
Members of the Australian Autism Alliance , a partnership of key autism organisations, are working to develop a response to a national inquiry into autism by the Australian Parliament.
Co-Chair of the Australian Autism Alliance. Paul Micallef, says that the inquiry into autism is a step in the right direction for making sure the outcomes for Australians living with autism are improved.
“Our outcomes in employment and education are significantly below average for the disability sector. The key message from the Australian Autism Alliance is that autistic Australians have enormous potential, and that’s not being realised.
“There are a couple of key statistics that show how poorly the autism community is fairing at the moment. We make up nearly a third of NDIS participants, and in a recent survey, only 4 percent of autistic people say the community knows how to support them.
“We need to take autism seriously and serve that population better. Having a national inquiry is a really good first step towards creating a National Autism Strategy, which is something The Australian Autism Alliance has been campaigning for.”
The Committee is inviting submissions to assist with their inquiry. The Australian Autism Alliance is consulting with people living with autism and their families and carers to help develop their submission to the inquiry.
The Australian Autism Alliance created the national survey so that people can share their experiences of autism.
“We want to hear about the challenges of being autistic in Australia. We also want to hear about what’s working well because some things are working well and we want to hear what those things are so that we can recommend that they are continued or replicated,” Mr Micallef explains.
Mr Micallef hopes that the survey outcome will result in a unified agreement on the state of autism services in Australia so that a National Autism Strategy can be created.
The Australian Autism Alliance is welcoming submissions until Monday 29 June 2020.
There are two versions of the survey available to be completed:
A longer survey that can be done online, and
A shorter Easy English version that can be printed and completed in hard copy.
The Committee will report on the inquiry’s findings in 2021.
What are your thoughts about a National Autism Strategy? Tell us in the comments below or send an email to [email protected].