Autism Act is needed to update law
IWAS proud to sponsor and speak at the launch of Remploy Cymru at the Assembly earlier this month.
Remploy is the UK’s leading provider of disability employment services, with more than 40 branches, offices and outreach locations across Wales.
It has supported more than 12,000 disabled and disadvantaged people in Wales over the past five years.
Having a dedicated business operation in Wales will help Remploy Cymru achieve its ambition to help even more disabled and disadvantaged people in Wales to gain employment.
Remploy’s Wrexham Office delivered 450 disabled people into work in North Wales between 2012-2014, including all but two of the former Wrexham Remploy factory staff who asked for help.
Remploy rightly believes that employment is the most effective route out of poverty and towards social inclusion for many dis- abled people in Wales.
Remploy is one of the strategic partners of the UK Government’s flagship Disability Confident campaign, launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in July 2013, which encourages employers to employ more disabled people and to be more confident about disability in the workplace.
People are disabled by society not themselves.
We must work together to tackle the barriers to access and inclusion for all and everyone must be allowed independence, choice and control in their lives.
People with Autism in Wales also still face significant challenges and barriers, which is why last week in the Assembly I led a debate calling upon the Welsh Government to introduce an Autism Act for Wales.
Assembly Members voted in support.
It is recognised that this cannot be accommodated within this Assembly’s remaining legislative timetable to 2016, therefore I urged all parties to commit to an Autism Act for Wales within their 2016 Manifestos and to champion a “refreshed” Autism Strategy with teeth in the meantime.
An Autism Act needs to include: diagnostic services; post diagnostic support; awareness and training for professionals and design and delivery – getting the fundamentals in place first.
People on the autism spectrum and their families are not convinced that things have changed significantly since the Autism Strategy was launched.
An Autism Act is therefore needed to bring about the changes needed and to put them on a statutory basis.
We can’t ask children or adults to stop being autistic until services are in place for them.