The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), who runs the NDIS, revised the membership of is Independent Advisory Council (IAC). Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia, known as A4, observes that the NDIA’s IAC does not include (effectively excludes) anyone with a substantial interest in autistic people.
“This exclusion of representation by or for autistic people is disappointing when over 25% of NDIS participants report autism as their primary disability”, says Mr Buckley who is A4’s Convenor.
A4 wrote to The Hon Christian Porter MP, the relevant federal Minister, asking if the exclusion of autism representation from the NDIA’s IAC was appropriate.
“The federal Government has never supported advocacy for autism or a national peak disability body for autism”, Mr Buckley said. “It supports peak bodies for a diverse group of other disability types, but not autism”, he said.
“It’s as if the Government agrees with Senator Pauline Hanson’s disappointing comments this week, and wishes autistic people would just go away”.
Autism was a rare disorder in the 1980s but the number of autism diagnoses has increased quite dramatically, and autistic students are now one of the largest disability groups in schools. Recent research reported up to 3.9% of Australian students with autism … which is significantly more than reported rates of students with intellectual disability.
Unfortunately, policy makers, administrators and service providers simply have not kept up with increasing numbers of autistic people or with improving service delivery that brings better outcomes.
“Government sources show that current outcomes for autistic people in education, employment and accommodation are abysmal. Refusal to recognise and address issues relating to autism spectrum disorder; excluding autism from stakeholder advisory groups makes for worse outcomes”, Mr Buckley said.
Contact: Bob Buckley, A4 Convenor – m: 04xx xxx xxx