I was very happy to support the National Autism Project at the launch of their Autism Agenda at a recent event in Parliament.
An estimated 700,000 autistic people live in the UK. The Autism Agenda showcases the National Autism Project’s recommendations to highlight barriers that autistic people face and how these can be addressed. These include timely identification and diagnosis, removing barriers to accessing social care and fighting stigma and discrimination.
Supporting the National Autism Project on the day were major national charities – the National Autistic Society, Autistica and the Autism Alliance as well as the Westminster Commission on Autism.
I have written previously on this website about autism awareness and about tackling the autism employment gap. Making Bristol an autism-friendly city has been one of my priorities since I was first elected and I recently held the UK’s first MP surgery specifically for autistic people in my constituency. (You can read more about the event in the i-paper).
More about the National Autism Project
The National Autism Project is a three-year project that was established in 2015 to analyse the evidence base for autism interventions and identify research gaps. It’s committed to addressing the needs of autistic people through greater investment in research and better practice.
Supported by The Shirley Foundation, the project brought together a wide range of experts including autistic people, resulting in a major research study, The Autism Dividend: Reaping the Rewards of Better Investment, which is widely regarded as the most comprehensive and far reaching review of the field that has been undertaken to date.
In its final months, the project wants to ensure its work acts as a springboard for action on the policy and research recommendations of the report.