Australia is developing a National Autism Strategy (NAS) as a result of:
- recommendations from the Senate Autism Inquiry that published its final report
- election commitments that the major political parties made to the autism sector during the 2022 federal election.
The initial community consultation period for the NAS is very brief: 4 September 2023 to 30 October 2023 - 12:00am so get in and have your say immediately. Check the DSS web page - https://engage.dss.gov.au/developing-the-national-autism-strategy/
The official government web page for the NAS is https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers/national-autism-strategy. The page says how you can have your say about the NAS. It has a section headed "What is the National Autism Strategy?" (that does not even attempt to answer the question).
The National Autism Strategy is a result of work by the autism sector, especially A4, The Australian Autism Alliance, ASfAR and Amaze, to to have governments in Australia develop a strategy to improve outcomes for the increasing numbers of Australians whose autism is being diagnosed and recognised but whose needs were not addressed in Australia's Disability Strategy. After 10 years, the NDIS has not developed a credible approach to its Autistic participants (who have emerged as the biggest primary disability type in the NDIS). And the Disability Royal Commission failed to recognise properly Autistic Australians in its findings. The prospective National Autism Strategy is potential recognition that autism is a distinct disability that that needs specific attention and better outcomes.
A4's previous articles on the NAS include:
- Labor's National Autism Strategy 2022
- Next step to shape a new National Disability Strategy
- A4's support to develop the National Autism Strategy
- Brief & meeting with Health officials - a National Autism Strategy in health and an Autism Roadmap
Some people in the autism and disability sector have expressed surprise, and some concern, that DSS and the Minister have not included A4, the recognised autism DRO, in either the NAS Oversight Committee or any of the DSS-managed NAS Working Groups.
The Health Department has included A4 in its Working Group for its National Roadmap to Improve the Health and Mental Health of Autistic People .