News/Announcements

Marking Autism Awareness Day, UN officials call for inclusive societies

1 April 2016 – On the eve of the World Autism Awareness Day, United Nations officials highlighted the contributions to humanity by people with autism, noting that shunning them is a “violation of human rights” and a “waste of human potential.”

Addressing a commemorative event this morning, UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft stressed that “autism and other forms of disability are part of the human experience that contributes to human diversity.”

CDC estimates 1 in 68 school-aged children have autism; no change from previous estimate

An estimated 1 in 68 (14.6 per 1,000) school-aged children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a CDC report published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Surveillance Summary. This report shows essentially no change in ASD prevalence, the proportion of school aged-children with ASD, from the previous report released in 2014. However, it is too soon to know whether ASD prevalence in the United States might be starting to stabilize. CDC will continue tracking ASD prevalence to better understand changes over time.

NDIA announce first nationally-consistent approach to early childhood early-intervention

For the first time, a nationally-consistent approach to supporting children with developmental delay or disability will exist with the release today of the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach.

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has worked with some of Australia’s leading early childhood intervention practitioners and researchers to design a best-practice approach that is family-centred and importantly, supports children to achieve good outcomes on a case-by-case basis.

Qld Government information about autism spectrum disorder is out of date

A4 sent the following message to the Queensland Government via its contact webpage ... 

Much of the information on your webpage: https://www.qld.gov.au/disability/commun... is out of date.

Over 2% of school-age children in Australia are now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

The DSM-5 was published back in May 2013 — the term "autism spectrum disorder" replaced the terminology/categories described in the DSM-IV.

about the Disability Support Pension

Dear The Hon C Porter MP

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (known as A4) received the response below from Gary Knox to our email that asked several questions.

Mr Knox's response describes material that is well known to us; particularly in relation to Impairment Table 7 - Brain Function. And it describes Centrelink's review system and the possibility of appealing a review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. 

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. 

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.

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