News/Announcements

The Hon Minister Porter MP, please consider the meeting request

Dear The Hon. Christian Porter MP

Your reference: MC15-015074

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (known as A4) received a response from James Kemp in your Department.

I am sorry, but I cannot see how his response relates to the matters mentioned in the meeting request (see http://a4.org.au/node/1118). Please consider the meeting request that we sent to you on 5/11/2015.

regards
Bob Buckley
Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia

21/12/2015

Labor to fund more advocacy for people with disability

03 December , 2015

A Shorten Labor Government will provide an additional $2 million a year to peak disability advocacy organisations to ensure people with disability have a powerful voice in the debates and decisions that affect their lives.

On International Day of People with Disability, Labor affirms its support for advocacy services and recognises their crucial role in the successful rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

meeting request to Disability Minister - 5/11/2015

Dear The Hon. Christian Porter MP

Recent media reports mention the increasing number of people being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and the possible impact on the NDIS. Apparently, more people are diagnosed with autism than the NDIA expected … especially in South Australia.

There are a number of issues relating to autism that we would like to raise with you. These include:

  1. autism and the NDIS … particularly increasing numbers of diagnoses and the NDIA's minimal consultation with the autism community;

CEDAW: autistic women and mothers

Presentation by Monique Blakemore to CEDAW, United Nations 30th October 2015 

Autistic women are a marginalised sector of the worlds largest minority group, the disabled community. There is an estimated 51,870,000 autistic women worldwide, a similar population to England.

Autistic women are subjected to systemic disadvantage in most areas of their lives. Autistic women experience exclusion socially, in education, in their personal lives, in the judicial system and in access to healthcare. Autistic leadership, exemplified by organizations such as Autism Women Matter, the Scottish Women’s Autism Network (SWAN) and Alliance Autiste, is necessary to challenge stigma and discrimination. 

Real, effective, and meaningful participation of autistic people, regardless of gender, is encapsulated in the phrase ‘nothing about us without us’ and is the aim of the autistic rights movement. Representation of autistic people by groups and individuals is frequently unfunded and unsupported. Unfortunately, ‘tokenism’, which is the illusion of consultation, is over-representative of the autistic advocacy experience. Autistic voices can be crowded out by those of professionals and parent caregivers that love and support us, but may see autism through their own experience. 

submission to Victorian Education Inquiry

A4 made a submission to Victoria'a review of its Program for Students with Disabilities

As well as answering the question raised in the reviews discussion paper, the submission (link below) has a short section on the very topical issue of behaviour management for autistic students , and an extended discussion of Inclusive Education for autistic students in Annex B.

Massive row over NDIS autism eligibility gobbledygook

Media Release

A major dispute broke out between two autism advocates: they both described the NDIA's eligibility criteria for autistic people as “gobbledygook”, but they are at odds over who said it first.

Bob Buckley, Convenor of Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, claims Ms Louise Davies, Deputy Chief Executive Officer from Autism SA, was clearly first to call the NDIA's criteria “gobbledygook”. But Ms Davies says Mr Buckley was first (see http://a4.org.au/node/794).

Advisory panel helping to improve support for Tasmanians living with autism spectrum disorder

Media Release

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services 
22 September 2015

Tasmanian living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) should have every opportunity to reach their goals and to achieve their full potential.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to providing improved support for Tasmanians living with ASD, and that’s why last year we established the Autism Advisory Panel.

Employment boost for people with autism in Brisbane

The Department of Human Services, together with HP Australia and Specialist People Foundation have expanded their acclaimed Dandelion program to Brisbane, giving young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder access to a career in the IT sector.

Minister for Human Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne said 13 people have this week commenced a three year traineeship with the department where they will work as software test analysts.

NDIS Board must be independent and protect the interests of people with disability and their families

Statement by AFDO, people with disability and family organisations

Today the Federal Government has placed an advertisement in newspapers calling for nominations for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Board.

There is currently no more important government appointed role for people with disability and their families than the NDIA Board.

The NDIA Board is responsible for safeguarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and ensuring that it is delivered on time and on budget.

Autism prevalence in Australia 2015

Media Release

The number of people who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise in Australia. Autism, once considered rare, is now 31% of NDIS participants, the largest disability group in the scheme according to recent the NDIS Quarterly Report issued in June 2015.

The number of NDIS participants with autism indicates that growth in autism diagnoses is not, as some commentators suggest, just due to greater autism awareness and diagnosis of milder cases. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported enormous growth in the number of people with autism with data it collected in 2009 and again in 2012 through its Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC).

Steady growth can also be seen in the number of families getting Carer Allowance (child) for children (data from Centrelink) who are  diagnosed formally with Autistic Disorder or Asperger's Disorder, just two of the autism spectrum disorders.

Submission on National Disability Advocacy Framework

To the DSS advocacy and access team,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input to your review of the National Disability Advocacy Framework.

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, is a nation organisation that focuses on systemic advocacy for the growing number of people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Australia. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that the number of Australians with ASD over recent times has been …

year 1998 2003 2009 2012
autism '000s 13.2 30.4 64.4 115.4
5 year growth   2.3 1.9 2.6
severe & profound   87% 74% 73%

 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), most people who are diagnosed with ASD have severe or profound disability.

A4's submission on National Disability Employment Framework

According to the DSS Engage website ...

The Australian Government wants to get more people with disability into jobs. We see a future where people with disability, like other Australians, can enjoy the economic and social freedom work brings.

Their task force published an Issues Paper and invited submissions. 

A4's sent a submission, available via the link below, that points out that the Australian Bureau of Statistics has repeatedly reported abysmal employment outcomes for people with autism/ASD. A4's submission concludes:

World Autism Awareness Day - United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2015

I am hugely encouraged by the growing public awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the increase of public services to many of those affected. World Autism Awareness Day not only fosters greater understanding, it empowers parents into seeking early intervention therapies and calls for the full integration of persons with autism into society. It also invites policy-makers to encourage schools to open their doors to students with autism. With adequate support, they can -- and should -- be educated in the heart of their communities.

Discrimination against autistic persons, the rule rather than the exception

Two United Nations human rights experts today called for an end to discrimination against autistic persons and a celebration of diversity. Speaking ahead of World Autism Awareness Day, the Special Rapporteurs on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, and on the right to health, Dainius Pūras, noted that about one per cent of the world’s population -some 70 million people- is estimated to be on the autism spectrum worldwide. “As part of human diversity, autistic persons should be embraced, celebrated and respected.

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