Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte, has launched a public consultation to inform the design and development of the Autism Innovation Strategy. (Read the Press Release here.)
The Autism Innovation Strategy will identify key areas where individuals with autism face particular challenges and barriers, focusing on particular areas which may not be addressed by other national strategies. It will play an important role in shaping future policies and strategies that are adopted to address challenges and barriers faced by the community of neurodiverse people in Ireland.
In Ireland, people with autism can still face multiple, varied and complex challenges and barriers in all facets of their daily lives, and throughout their lives, from infancy, through childhood, into adulthood and old age. The Autism Innovation Strategy will pursue priority actions to make substantial progress towards making equality of support and equality of opportunity a reality for all people with autism in Ireland today.
Ireland is committed to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) and to progressively realising all rights therein. It is therefore critical to develop a strategy that coordinates a whole-of-government approach to addressing any gaps that exist in supports or responses for people with autism and their families.
Most importantly, in line with the UNCRPD, people with autism and neurodiversity, their families, friends, co-workers, representatives and support structures will be involved in the development of the Autism Innovation Strategy from the outset, and in the monitoring of its implementation once adopted.
The vision behind the Autism Innovation Strategy is to build on the existing level of service and to specifically identify and develop steps to address gaps and challenges in existing provision through innovative action, through empowering individuals and families, and by developing awareness of autism and neurodiversity.
Through this Public Consultation we wish to invite submissions that respond to key questions that will inform the content and shape of the draft Autism Innovation Strategy. There will be a further public consultation to ensure that the actions proposed in the Strategy will result in meaningful enhancements to the lives of people with autism in Ireland over its lifetime.
An Expressions of Interest process to establish a stakeholder-led Strategy Oversight and Advisory Group will also be launched in the coming weeks. Applications from those who wish to be more closely involved in the monitoring and implementation of the Autism Innovation Strategy will be welcomed.
How to participate
Anyone with an interest in participating in the development of the Autism Innovation Strategy is invited to submit a consultation response. A consultation guidance paper, including an easy to read version, which provides further details can be accessed below.
For organisations which wish to make a more detailed submission, these should be emailed to Autism_Strategy@equality.gov.ie
The closing date for receipt of submissions and completion of the survey is close of business, Monday, 30 May 2022.
Any questions regarding the Autism Innovation Strategy development process should be sent to Autism_Strategy@equality.gov.ie