The Westminster Commission on Autism is a new group made up of parliamentarians, autistic individuals, parent advocates, health professionals, charities and service providers etc. The group was set up in recognition of the fact that there is always more to be done to make the world a more autism-friendly place. The commission will hold inquiries, write reports and make recommendations for policy and practice.
On the 1st December 2015, the core group met and discussed areas for inquiry. A range of topics were considered including diagnosis, employment, family support and mental health. It was felt that a strong first inquiry topic would be access to healthcare.
It is critically important that the commission is informed, guided and verified by autistic people and while a number of members are either autistic or parents, we want to reach out to many more than this.
We are looking to achieve this via two avenues – firstly we want to look back at research/surveys/consultations that have already been carried out – in many cases people with autism and their families have spoken up already about their needs but there is more to be done to implement the changes and ideas suggested.
If you know of any research/surveys/focus groups etc that have considered the priorities of those on the spectrum, their needs and suggestions, please get in touch. The commission is keen to draw on existing work and not waste resources by replicating studies that have already been conducted. Many people in the autism community feel they have reported their concerns and suggestions time and time again but nothing ever changes.
Secondly we will want to hear fresh ideas and experiences from autistic people and parents/carers to inform the priorities of the commission and the recommendations it will make. If you would like to be involved in facilitating this in any way or contributing your experiences, stories and ideas please get in touch!
We hope you agree that this is an exciting and unique opportunity and we look forward to working together to make the world a more autism friendly place!
If you would like to hear more or get involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org