Monday, 16 January 2012

We need 5 minutes of your time - please ACT!

We have been busy making our very grave concerns about the changeover to PIP known to MPs and members of the House of Lords - tomorrow the Lords will debate further amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill, including PIP. 

We ask you to take 5 minutes to forward the text below to your own MP and area Peers and ask them to raise it in the commons/Lords. (

This week disability rights campaigners are asking the House of Lords to back an adjournment of at least 6 months between the change over from DLA to the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) In that time, plans for PIP should be reconsidered with the views of disabled people properly taken into account.

 ACT NOW supports the call for an adjournment debate so the views and opinions of people with disabilities can truly be listened to. Adults with autism are currently facing the prospect of two assessments both of which are not fit for purpose and certainly not relevant for a person with an autistic spectrum condition. Neither assessment was designed to reflect the complex needs of adults with autism.

 ACT NOW has much evidence that the PIP assessment, recently trialed across the UK, was not designed for adults with autism, it seem the condition wasn't considered! We agree that the new PIP assessment is almost a duplicate of the Work Capability Assessment and we are extremely concerned that adults with autism should have to face the trauma of two assessments not designed in any way to reflect their condition.

We have evidence that any specialism in autism that the Work Programme Providers have is patchy and varies greatly from area to area.

 ACT NOW believes that being able to communicate effectively is a basic human right. We are therefore doubling our efforts to make sure that as many MPs and members of the House of Lords as is possible are aware of our campaign. We are reiterating our call for every adult with autism to be offered, can access and is allowed to then use the services of an independent and suitably trained advocate when they find themselves having an assessment/reassessment.

There are other issues that we firmly believe need to be raised and acted upon as a matter of urgency. There are many adults with autism who will NOT have reports from health professionals who are able to provide supportive evidence about their condition after their DLA/PIP assessment if they are asked to do so.

 Many adults have seen no one since leaving Children’s Services and in some areas they have no health services for adults to access unless they are at crisis point. 

Who will support these adults if it becomes necessary for them to provide reports? 

There is a dearth of specifically trained professionals who have the specialism required to understand autism and then write a comprehensive report about how autism impacts on the lives of the individual with the condition.

ACT NOW believes that this issue alone is causing grave concern to many adults who are living alone, isolated and unsupported in our communities. The wellbeing of these adults must not be overlooked. They have been neglected, ignored and ineligible for far too long already.

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