The Department of Health has launched a strategy to help adults with autism in England live independently in a society that understands them. This is the first strategy of its kind.
The strategy sets a clear framework for all mainstream public sector services to support adults with autism and is backed up by the Autism Act 2009, the first ever condition specific legislation.
Care Services Minister Phil Hope said that adults with autism have been excluded for too long, just 15% are in paid employment and 49% live at home with parents.
He said: “I want the autism strategy to be the foundation for change in the way our whole society treats adults with autism. They have a huge contribution to make - shutting them out deprives everyone.
“It is unacceptable that adults with autism are not getting the support they need to live independently and find work. This strategy will start a fundamental change in public services with better awareness and understanding.”
The strategy includes:
- a new National Autism Programme Board to lead change in public services
- a programme to develop training with health and social care professional bodies
- autism awareness training for all Jobcentre Plus Disability Employment Advisers
- guidance on making public services accessible for adults with autism, like improving buildings, public transport and communication
- a clear, consistent pathway for diagnosis.