Advocacy

The following list shows A4's recent advocacy. This list contains both submissions and communications (letters & emails).

creating trust in the NDIA is about more than the so-called Independent Assessments

Submitted by convenor on Thu, 16/9/2021 - 12:41

Minister Reynolds has the NDIA and disability representatives working on rebuilding trust. The NDIA and some parts of the disability sector seem to think this is just about recent conduct.

For the autism sector, there are deeper issues from the outset.

Here is a letter from  A4 to the Minister briefly describing some of the history and issues.

NDIS FOI 21/22-0100 - misinformation and untruths

Submitted by convenor on Thu, 2/9/2021 - 08:53

The NDIA did not respond to a number of A4's concerns. Issues of particular concern were:

"misinformation and untruths" from the NDIA's CEO to NDIS participants about the assessment tools that were planned for functional assessment of autistic NDIS participants for the so-called Independent Assessments, and
inexpert and misguided advice from the NDIA's Independent Advisory Council (IAC) about early intervention for autistic children.

The NDIA did not respond to A4 about its concerns.

Coalition government’s ongoing war on autistic Australians

Submitted by convenor on Tue, 31/8/2021 - 12:53

Dear Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds,

Subject: Government’s ongoing war on autistic Australian

Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) deplores media reports (see Annex below) saying that “The Minister responsible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme has blamed an uptick of Australia’s aged, autistic and obese people for the ‘unsustainable’ rising costs of the service”. Your government’s war on autism is unacceptable. We complained about it before and were ignored

Aged autistic people are one of the smallest subgroups in the NDIS: there were just 125 of them in June 2021, just 0.8% of 14K+ NDIS participants in that age group. While their funding level is higher than average for the NDIS, we doubt the numbers in this very small group will increase significantly for some time. We have not found NDIA reporting on obesity; we doubt the NDIS even has reliable data on obesity of NDIS participants. 

FOI 20/21-0660 and FOI 20/21-0835 - NDIA keeps its records with Schrödinger's cat

Submitted by convenor on Mon, 26/7/2021 - 15:04

The NDIA claims in its Participant Service Charter that it wants to be "transparent". However, it avoids making public communication and decisions about some key issues. For example, the following show that it does not want its records about commentary from a disability representative organisation (DRO) on advice it received from its IAC released.

The NDIA wrote a discussion paper on early intervention for autistic children.

NDIA's secret report on PEDI-CAT (ASD) and NDIA misinformation

Submitted by convenor on Tue, 8/6/2021 - 10:11

On the 12th October 2020, Mr Hoffman, the NDIA CEO, wrote a letter to NDIS participants, their families and carers. In his letter, he claimed that

The tools [for the NDIA's so-called Independent Assessment] have been ... used all over the world for many years.

A4 doubted this was true since no such tool existed for autistic people.

Previously, the NDIS was using the PEDI-CAT to assess autistic children. It is well known that this is not a suitable tool which is why the authors of the tool have been developing a revised PEDI-CAT (ASD) for some time.