About the Alliance

We are the major UK network of specialist autism charities.

Together, we support many thousands of people with autism, including more than 2,000 adults in residential homes, and thousands more through our outreach services. We run schools for children with autism, and we train our own staff as well as staff in the public and private sectors. We are on the Autism National Programme Board and are represented on the Advisory Group to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Autism. Collectively, we have the largest concentration of practical autism expertise in the UK.

We passionately believe that people with autism should develop their full potential, and we believe that specialist autism knowledge and early specialist intervention are key to achieving this.

We welcome autism charities who wish to join us, and we are developing a programme to support smaller autism charities with information and advice.

Our Vision and Mission

Our vision is a better world for people with autism.

Our mission is to improve the choice and quality of services and support for people with autism.

As an alliance we hold shared beliefs and values relating to the individual potential of people on the autism spectrum, our expectations for them are high and we believe that:

  • People with autism will always continue to develop skills and strategies and we can demonstrate positive outcomes for the people we support
  • People with autism have significant strengths and can use these to learn and develop skills allowing them to participate as independent and valued citizens, enjoying equal rights and opportunities
  • A flexible and personalised approach is necessary to support the development of individual skills
  • Through working alongside people with autism, effective strategies can be developed that enable them to contribute to and be consulted on all aspects of their lives
  • Consultation through listening to people who use the service, and their representatives is key to effective evolving services

Participation: we work hard to ensure that the voice of people with autism, and their families is heard

Collaboration: we work in partnership with people with autism, their families, commissioners and other organisations to increase understanding and achieve best outcomes.

Effectiveness: we strive to ensure that the services we provide meet the individual needs of the people and achieve the best outcomes and value.

Evidence based: we work to build an evidence base around best practice and take this into account in designing and delivering our own services.

Our Team

Our team is led by our trustees and general secretary, Jackie Doughty. The trustees are elected by member charities and usually serve for three years.

Our Trustees:

  •  John Phillipson (Chair) 
  •  Clive Stobbs (Treasurer)
  •  Jane Howson
  •  Alan Somerville

Policy Work

We are increasingly influential in the shaping of policy. We are on the Autism National Programme Board and are represented on the Advisory Group to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Autism. Based on our unrivalled experience at grass-roots level, we advise governments on practical solutions to help improve the lives of people with autism

One example of our policy work is to iron out problems in diagnosis, assessment and commissioning of services.

Our Members

Our members cover most of England, most of Scotland, and parts of Wales and Northern Ireland. We also have in our membership, two research charities. Membership enquiries are welcomed, and should go to our General Secretary, Jackie Doughty.

Find all of our Autism Alliance UK members here