News/Announcements

Australian governments ignore bad outcomes for autism/ASD

As yet there is no sign that governments in Australia even recognise the particularly bad outcomes reported for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A4 says, so far the parts of governments in Australia that are responsible for treatment, rehabilitation, education, etc. just ignore reports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that people with ASD have especially poor education, employment and disability support outcomes.

first report on the National Disability Strategy

It seems the first report on the National Disability Strategy is out. It's the report that purports to 'lay the groundwork' for the Strategy, which covers every area of the lives of people with disability, from education to employment, justice and economic security.

The peaks - ONLY the peaks - have been charged with consulting with PwD and their families over the Christmas break - until Jan 30 - but the first report is 'highly confidential' because it is a 'living document' blah blah.

research into the experiences of students with disability in Victorian schools

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission is conducting research into the experiences of students with disability in Victorian schools.

This follows an increase in complaints to the Commission relating to disability discrimination in education, and concerns raised by parents of children with disability, disability advocacy groups and members of the Commission’s Disability Reference Group about the provision of education services to students with disability.

A4 protests, calls for Senate Inquiry into Autism

The Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs omitted a submission from A4 to its Inquiry into Commonwealth funding and administration of mental health services. The Committee's final report does not mention autism at all ... it does not acknowledge that it received a submission from A4.

Is it OK for Public Servants to mislead a Minister and Senators about autism?

A4 received the letter (see below) from The Hon Mark Butler MP in response to our letter to the Prime Minister (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/441). The response shows the Minister and his Department:

  • prefer to discuss/argue the semantics of terms/phases like "lead agency" and "the remit of" ... rather than address concerns over the mental health of people with autism spectrum disorders (PwASD) and their families/carers.

Attorney General reply to open letter

The Attorney-General replied (9/8/2011, download here) to A4's open letter (18/6/2011, see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/375).

Our letter clearly identified concern and disappointment "about the ongoing refusal of Governments in Australia to protect people with ASD and their associates from discrimination". The Attorney-General's response dismisses our concern and disappointment saying:

Productivity commission's final report into disability care and support

The Gillard Labor Government today announced that it will start work immediately with states and territories on measures that will build the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, following the release of the Productivity Commission's final report into the matter.

The Government asked the Productivity Commission to examine reform of disability support services because we believe that the system we have today is not delivering the kind of care and support Australians expect for people with disability.

The main recommendations of the Productivity Commission are:

Open letter ... disappointment over autism discrimination

Autism advocates wrote an open letter to the Attorney-General, the Hon Robert McClelland MP, to express the deep disappointment of people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the recent Federal Court discrimination decision in Walker v State of Victoria [2011] FCA 258.

2/6/2011 response from Mental Health Minister

In response to our letter in April 2011, A4 received the (completely unsatisfactory and inappropriate) response below from the Ministerial Liaison and Support Section of the Department of Health and Ageing.

This completely missed the point that A4 asked that a submission be considered for the Budget ... the opportunity is now well past.

Psychologists call for prompt end to restrictive practices in disability sector

Urgent action must be taken to ensure Australians with disabilities - including children and young people - are protected from unnecessary restrictive practices that put their lives and wellbeing at risk, along with those of the people working with and caring for them, according to the Australian Psychological Society (APS).

Budget to provide more support to students with disabilities

TUE 03 MAY 2011

Prime Minister, Minister for School Education

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced new budget funding of $200 million to provide extra support for students with disability in Australian schools.

The Prime Minister said that every student in every school deserves a great education and this extra funding will help ensure that students with disability get that same opportunity.

The Prime Minister made the announcement today with the Minister for School Education Peter Garrett at Harrison School in Canberra.

Lions support early intervention

Dear Friends of Preschool Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders

I am delighted to advise you that the 59th Multiple District 201 National Convention of Lions Clubs International in Launceston, Tasmania on Sunday 17th April passed the following Motion, NM 10.

“That this Multiple District Convention adopts the Preschool Autism Spectrum Disorders Education and Therapy Project as a Category “B” Project for a term expiring on 30th June 2012”.

This means the following:

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, an opportunity to raise community awareness and show support for people with the condition, their families and carers.

Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Senator Jan McLucas said today was an opportunity to show support for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), their families and carers.

Government shows its commitment to helping children with Autism

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, today met with Playgroup Australia and PlayConnect Playgroups Coordinators in Brisbane, to discuss support for families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ahead of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

The Australian Government has provided $4.5 million to Playgroups Australia to deliver 150 PlayConnect Playgroups for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or ASD-like symptoms up to six years of age.

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