convenor's blog

Autism advocate withdraws from NDIS contacted assessment pilot

Comments on twitter indicate that an NDIS "independent assessment", part of its pilot, did not go well.

This is hardly surprising. The NDIA's CEO sent a letter to all NDIS participants claiming "The [NDIA's assessment] tools have been ... used all over the world for many years". There is no such tool for assessing the capability, and more importantly the support needs, of autistic people. There most certainly is no assessment tool for ASD that has been used, and shown to be accurate, "all over the world for many years".

ABS autism data 2018

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released data about autism from its 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) - see

The ABS reports that in 2018:

  • there were 205,200 autistic Australians (estimated), a 25.1% increase from 164,000 in 2015
  • over 3% of children aged 5-14 years are diagnosed autistic.
  • "males were 3.5 times more likely than females to [be autistic]".
  • the number of autistic Australians with severe of profound disability was 68.9% in 2018
  • outcomes for autistic people in education and employment remain abysmal
  • and much more.

NDIS introduces onerous and inequitable eligibility requirements for autistic children

On the 23/5/2018, the Minister for Social Security wrote to autism organisations to "assure" them that there would be "extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community" before making any changes to NDIS eligibility (see

Three days later, on the 26/5/2018, the NDIS tweeted that it "updated our website" and provided a link to The web page has new eligibility requirements. Autism stakeholders were not consulted about the changes to the NDIS eligibility process that appeared on that webpage.

Autistic children in Australia have no right to education

Bob Buckley

I am not a lawyer, so you cannot rely on my opinion; make sure you get professional advice in relation to this subject.

The US Supreme Court is about to hear a case about the quality of education for an autistic student - see

response: letter to A4 Convenor - 24/5/2009

Following is the response provided to Ms Evans' letter (see ...



Dear Ms Evans

Thank you for your input (24/5). I am sorry that I have taken so long to reply in detail.

If you choose to describe the A4 Steering Committee breakdown as a “lock out”, that is your choice. I disagree with your description.

A4 Steering Committee break down

Dear A4 member

Recently, the A4 Steering Committee separated due to personality differences, significantly different views and some name calling. Basically, the committee was not working.

In any case, A4 needs leadership renewal and A4 needs more push from members. It needs more members participating in the activities of the organisation, adding their energy to its advocacy. Also, A4 needs members saying what they want and how to achieve A4’s vision and mission (see

Steering Committee separation ...

Dear A4 member

Differences have arisen within the A4 Steering Committee (A4 SC) that cannot be resolved.

As a result of discussions and with regret, a majority of the A4 SC decided the divisions in the A4 SC were detrimental to the organisation and cannot be overcome. A majority of the A4 SC have agreed that separation is the best way for everyone involved to move on.

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