A4 submission on health and medical research in Australia

A4 sent a submission to the the Review of Health and Medical Research in Australia (see http://www.mckeonreview.org.au/).

The submission suggests that research funding has a greater chance of having more impact when it is addresses health issues with higher "burden of disease and injury". It mentions that autism has a high burden for children (highest for boys), based on the available evidence ... yet very little of Australia's health and medical research funding is spent on autism.

Searching for honest answers

Jack Sullivan

September 15, 2012 Opinion Sue O'Reilly

Why did government agencies allow Jack Sullivan to be placed in a respite facility - where he later died - which they knew had a questionable history?

Sue O'Reilly reports In early 2008, when Esther Woodbury waved goodbye to her disabled teenage son as he was driven from their Ainslie home for one of his occasional weekends of government-funded respite care in Queanbeyan, she had no idea childcare and disability agencies in NSW and the ACT had recorded numerous allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse against the respite facility.

If anyone in authority had bothered to alert her, Woodbury says, she would immediately have withdrawn her 18-year-old son, Jack Sullivan, who as a result of severe autism and epilepsy was particularly vulnerable. But nobody in authority did bother to alert her - and that weekend, in respite care funded by the ACT government agency Disability ACT, Jack Sullivan drowned while having a bath.

 

Letter to Government about labour force participation for people with autism

A4 wrote to The Hon. Mr. Shorten MP about the especially poor labour force participation (employment) of people with autism spectrum disorders. We referred to the report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that shows outcomes for people with autism are significantly worse than the outcomes people with a disability generally and Australia's indigenous population experience.

We provided the Minister with a recent example of a person with severe autism trying to access a supported employment service.

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.

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.

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