Next steps for the APPGA inquiry into the Autism Act

As you may know, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Autism Act, as well as the next milestone for reviewing the autism strategy. To mark this significant moment, the APPGA is holding an inquiry that will consider progress made in the last 10 years, as well as exploring how services and support can be further improved for autistic people and their families. In order to build our understanding of what has and has not changed since the Act came into force, we are consulting with autistic people and their families, as well as holding evidence sessions in Parliament and organising focus groups with professionals and commissioners.

Public survey

As part of our inquiry, we are running a survey on our website, which seeks to find out more about autistic adults’, children’s and families’ views and experiences of support and services. This survey will also shed light on people’s awareness of the Autism Act and the legal duties in place. The results from this survey will be part of the evidence going into a report, which will be published in September of this year and will set out recommendations to Government about what improvements need to be made for both autistic adults and children.

The survey will be open until Sunday 7 April, and we would like as many autistic people and their families to share their views so we can build a reflective understanding of peoples’ experiences across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. While the Autism Act only covers England, we do also want to capture views from across the nations as this will help us in our broader campaigning work.

Evidence sessions
We will also be holding evidence sessions in Parliament to gather more evidence over the coming months. The sessions will be based on six themes (please see the bottom of this email for more information) and will take on a select committee hearing format. They will involve panellists (including MPs, professionals and people with lived experience) posing questions to witnesses who will have expertise and experience in relevant to the topic. Each session will explore two themes, which will each last an hour. Our overall aim is to find out more about what the key issues are for autistic adults, children and young people as well as their families and to also use this as the basis for the report we will be writing later this year.

There will also be an opportunity for people to act as observers to the sessions. Unfortunately, there will be a limited number of spaces available for each session, so we will only be able to book places for you on a first come, first serve basis.

What you can do to help us:
1. We would be very grateful if you would be able to fill out the survey and encourage others to fill it out. This will allow the APPGA to have a clearer picture of autistic people’s needs and what more the Government needs to do. We have provided the suggested tweet below in case you would like to share this with your networks:
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism is holding an inquiry into support for autistic people as part of the 10th anniversary of the Autism Act. If you or your family member is autistic, they want to hear about your experiences and views about what needs to change across the UK. Share your views here https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OB5OB/ ”

2. If you would like to attend any of our evidence sessions as an observer, please email appga@nas.org.uk, letting us know which session you would like to attend, and we will send you more information. Please note there are limited spaces and we will allocate these on a first come, first serve basis.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

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