A4 policy on refusing to answer questions or recognise concerns

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) has a policy that addresses the conduct of officials and agencies that choose to ignore crucial questions and issues affecting autistic people and people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

In future for reasons given in A4's policy (see below), A4 will interpret failure/refusal to answer a question to be deliberate avoidance of the question. A4 will interpret deliberate avoidance of a question means an honest answer is the worst possible response; it would reflect most negatively on the person or organisation.

A4's policy follows (or can be downloaded below).

Policy on unanswered questions and concerns


Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, is a national grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people and people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A4 has a full program of systemic advocacy aimed at improving outcomes for autistic people and people living with ASD.

Previously, officials and politicians chose to ignore some questions that A4 asked or some issues A4 raised. In the past, government and its agencies avoided matters that are crucial/essential for the very vulnerable members of the ASD community by ignoring parts (or the whole) of correspondence with A4.

A4 asks important questions so when people and agencies do not respond they send the autistic community a very clear message that they do not care … or worse. When A4 asks a question, A4 expects and autistic people deserve an answer.

Basically, failure (or refusal) of a person or agency to answer A4’s questions is unacceptable. Delay in crucial matters is detrimental for people who already experiences substantial disadvantage.

A4 does not have the time and resources to chase people or agency representatives who fail to do their jobs properly; who do not meet their responsibilities to taxpayers and the wider community to provide essential information, answer questions and address deficiencies in it’s programs.

A4 recognises and expects that agency employees who are responsible for responding to A4’s correspondence are quite literate so they understand the questions that A4 asks. If an agency or its staff have any doubt or uncertainty about any of A4’s questions, they should contact A4 promptly for clarification.

Usually, A4 numbers the questions so a respondent can easily number answers correspondingly. There is no reason for accidentally omitting a response to any question when preparing a response for A4.

Henceforth, A4 will treat a person or agency’s failure to answer its question within a reasonable period as a deliberate choice to not answer. A4 will interpret a missing answer to mean the answer to the question is extremely negative or the worst answer possible … it is an answer so bad that the person or agency cannot put it in writing.

Similarly, a person or agency’s failure or refusal to acknowledge any concern that A4 raises should be interpreted to mean complete/total rejection of that concern of the people A4 represents.


Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia Management Group