letter/email

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.

Minister: gap, not just autism, for a whole range of disabilities?

The Hon. Ms Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Disability Reform

Dear The Hon. Ms Macklin MP

I saw your short video on the episode of A Current Affair on 19/3/2012. Your message started “We do recognise that there is a real gap for not just children with autism but children with a whole range of disabilities … ”.

feedback on draft National Human Rights Action Plan

Dear sir/madam

Despite recent correspondence from Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) to the Attorney General (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/375, http://a4.org.au/a4/node/396 and http://a4.org.au/a4/node/438), I just found out today about your draft action plan (see http://www.ag.gov.au/Humanrightsandantidiscrimination/Australiashumanrig...).

Feedback on your draft action plan is due today. My organisation does not now have time nor the capacity to develop a comprehensive response.

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:

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