News/Announcements

Autistic Australian left out of mental health supports again

Media Release

While A4 recognises the Health Minister’s “How’s your head today?” effort to support the mental health of Australians through this difficult COVID-19 period, we are concerned that autistic Australians have been left behind again.

Australian governments have a policy to recognise issues relating to the mental health of people with intellectual disability but to ignore the needs of autistic Australians. Minister Hunt and his department officially:

Response to email to Minister Robert regarding Expert Reference Group to implement the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia

Subject: Re: Response to email to Minister Robert regarding Expert Reference Group to implement the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia [SEC=OFFICIAL]
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2020 08:41:53 +1100
From: Bob Buckley (A4 Convenor) <convenor@a4.org.au>
Organisation: Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia
To:

Dear Mr Hoffman - your open letter

Dear Mr Hoffman

I received my copy of your open letter to all NDIS participants at 4.02pm today.

Throughout the letter, you use the term “independent assessments” despite the whole disability sector having advised you that the NDIA’s contracted assessments are not “independent”. Insisting on calling them “independent” when they are not independent at all is classic “Yes Minister” conduct. Your failure to acknowledge and refusal to respect the views of the disability community shows you are not interested in improving the NDIS for the people who depend on it.

Dear PM - the Government's war on autistic Australians

A4 does not often write to the Prime Minister, we usually write to minsters responsible for specific issues.

The letter below complains formally to the Prime Minister that parts of the Government, especially the NDIA, are waging a war on autistic Australians.


The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Prime Minister

Subject: government’s war on autistic Australians

I write to protest formally at the war on autistic Australians being waged by:

changed position on National Autism Plan

Dear members of the Select Committee on Autism

When I appeared before you recently, you asked about a National Autism Strategy. Please disregard the answer I provided at the time.

Since that time, the Department of Social Services (DSS) and Services Australia:

  1. had senior officials appear before the Community Affairs Committee, and
  2. released a Position Paper on its National Disability Strategy.

These events both show DSS to be no longer fit-for-purpose.

Comment on DSS National Disability Strategy options paper

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia responded to DSS's Options Paper on continuing the old National Disability Strategy (NDS) which they call a "new" strategy.

DSS's Options Paper shows no evidence of input from the disability community, especially input that says the previous strategy didn't work and substantial change is needed.

It also shows that it does not understand human rights in Australia but still tries to take a human rights perspective.

mental health support for autistic Australians

Minister Greg Hunt in front of Commonwealth Health Department logo

Dear Minister The Hon Greg Hunt MP

While Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) appreciates the Government's improved provisions for some Australians needing increased support with their mental health, we are concerned that the needs of autistic Australians with mental illness, some those in most need of mental health support, are not being recognised and addressed.

Test case settlement great news for autistic children

Catherine Blundy’s discrimination test case against The Lakes Christian College has settled, with the school agreeing to measures to better support autistic children.

In reaching settlement, Catherine, her mum Hannah, and the College have made the following statement:

Hannah Blundy and The Lakes Christian College have agreed to resolve Catherine Blundy’s claim against the College currently before the Federal Circuit Court.

Training to support people with autism into work

12 June 2020
Minister The Hon. Anne Ruston MP, joint with Senator Hollie Hughes

The Morrison Government is delivering on its election promise to support people with autism into employment.  

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston today announced two new training projects as part of the Government’s suite of disability employment initiatives. 

Doughnut bakery and social enterprise Krofne, Whitmur Advisors and GenU Training have received $200,000 to work together to develop two accredited training courses for the hospitality industry.

Statement of Concern – COVID-19: Human rights, disability and ethical decision-making

Media Release

Internationally recognised Australian experts in the areas of human rights, bioethics and disability, have today released a Statement of Concern to emphasise key human rights principles and standards that need to underpin ethical decision-making in the context of disability and the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 should not herald rollback in rights for people with autism: UN chief

United Nations logo

The rights of persons with autism must be taken into account in efforts to address the COVID-19 coronavirus: “a public health crisis unlike any other in our lifetimes”, the UN Secretary-General said on Thursday.

António Guterres’s appeal came in his message for World Autism Awareness Day, observed annually on 2 April.

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