16 Oct Thank you for supporting the Know Your Rights campaign
Thank you for your support on the Know Your Rights campaign, which was launched in Westminster on the 4th April 2019. The launch involved a number of speakers including, two parents, two advocates, Chaman Salham, Solicitor, who has been advising the Alliance in regard to autistic people’s rights under the law, Jane Howson and myself, Mary Simpson.
The campaign was launched to ensure autistic people know their rights, this legislation matters, the Autism Act 2009 and the Care Act 2014 is there to support, protect and empower people. Without proper assessment autistic people run the risk of not receiving the support they require to have a fulfilled live, living as independently possible with appropriate support.
What the Alliance members are telling us is that despite these ground-breaking pieces of legislation, autistic people are still subject to inappropriate care needs assessments. Most of these assessments were genetic and come from the elderly sector. The Autism Alliance carried out a survey and it painted a troubling and shocking picture.
- 77% of local authorities told us the tool they were using is not autism specific.
- 24% of local authorities told us they only provide 1 day of training.
- 76% had only met their assessor on the day.
- 80% did not receive any paperwork or copy of the assessment in advance.
- 45% of people were not able to invite people who are important to them.
- Only 2% were offered an advocate despite 42% saying that they needed one.
Autistic people make up 1% of the population and autism affects the way people communicate and interact with the world, autism is a spectrum that impacts on everybody differently and can be very complex. The Autism and Care Acts are ground breaking pieces of legislation designed to ensure the needs of autistic people and their families are met. It enshrines in law that every autistic adult has the right to a needs assessment which must take in to account their autism, this assessment must be carried out by a trained individual with the skills, competency and knowledge to determine the level of support required.
The Autism Alliance have been working hard and attending and inputting to the task and finish groups, we also attending the Department of Health cross working party and a working group with BASW and are due to attend further meetings to ensure autistic people receive an autism specific assessment carried out by a social worker who has the skills, knowledge and experience to do so. We have also written to all Local Authorities to remind them of their obligations under the law.
So, what do we need to do?
We need to ensure that you are sharing the know your rights campaign to the people you support and their families. We need to continue to work in hand
To ensure that every autistic person and their families know their rights enshrined in law.
They have a care needs assessment that is autism specific, undertaken by an assessor with the skills, competency and knowledge of autism, sufficient to undertake this assessment.
The Alliance members felt despite the law being in place, local authorities were ignoring the law and felt it important to create a document to ensure all autistic people and their families know their rights. This is more important than ever following the recent BBC documentary on Panorama.
What do we need from you?
We need more case studies and for you to be using social media to highlight and share this national scandal with local Councillors and MPs and to ensure that you are holding local authorities responsible for their legal obligations highlighted in your pack.
We are continuing to flight for what is right for autistic people and will keep you updated with our progress. If you feel you can offer support, advice or have any suggestions please get in touch.