Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4) is the national grassroots advocacy organisation providing systemic advocacy1 for autistic people2 and others (family members and partners) living with ASD. A4 is a disability representative organisation (DRO) recognised on the DSS National Disability Representative Organisations webpage. A4 is also a member of the Australian Autism Alliance.
A4 aims to represent the views of its members at the federal/national level. If there is something you want said about autism/ASD and related issues, just tell the A4 Management Group or A4's Convenor.
A4 is a national organisation; A4 focuses on national policy, services and supports. A4 is not a state level organisation: A4 does not usually have the capacity to address issues at a state/territory level. For example, it is difficult for A4 to tackle issues relating to a particular state/territory's education system. When possible, A4 works with state/territory advocacy groups (where they exist) on state/territory matters.
A4 does not represent a particular view; it aims to represent the views of its members. There are issues where the ASD community has a range of (conflicting) views; issues where there is no consensus view. In such cases, A4 tries to recognise, respect and represent the range of views it finds in the ASD community. When views about an issue vary, A4 does not choose sides; instead, A4 makes it clear to Government (and others) that there are varied views in the ASD community.
Autistic people and their associates need effective voices. A4's voice is more convincing to government if it has more members. A4 membership is FREE but is only available to people living in Australia. Just register on this website. Please join A4 and get your friends to join too.
A4 maintains this website that contains information relating to ASD in Australia and overseas. We hope people will find it useful.
Our advocacy and activities depend entirely on the efforts of our members. A4's past achievements are due entirely to our members making it happen. A4 depends on members like you getting together (over the internet) and acting on ideas. There is a lot that has not been done yet. A4 offers enormous scope for passionate and effective people.
A4 is a member of the Disability Australia Consortium: see DSS webpage: National disability representative organisations. A4 works with the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) on wider disability issues at the federal level.
From its very earliest days, A4 has maintained strong autistic representation in its governance. A4's current Management Group has:
- 50% autistic members (and a Co-convenor who self identified as neuro-divergent from an early age);
- 50% of A4's Management Group are parents of autistic children.
While all members of A4's current Management Group are experienced in disability service provision, research, and/or regulation, their first priority is to improve outcomes for autistic Australians.
1 Systemic advocacy is about addressing problems and challenges in how service and support systems work. A4 in not funded and has minimal capacity to help individuals.
2Autistic people means people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) including people diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder/Syndrome and PDD-NOS. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (known as the DSM-5), published in May 2013 and the recent text revision DSM-5-TR (2022), combine Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (known as PDD-NOS), previously described in the 4th edition (DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR) as separate conditions, into one disorder that it calls ASD (see Autism Spectrum Disorder in DSMs and ICD-10).