Sunday, 13 January 2013

Please Act NOW For Autism And Email Your MP!


We are asking all supporters to email their MP's ahead of the Atos Debate in the Main Chamber at Parliament this Thursday. We have written a sample letter below, which you can copy and paste into an email and then personalise with your own story if you have an Atos experience. 

You can contact your MP via the WriteToThem website:

" Dear <insert MP name>

MPs are being given the opportunity to debate the Atos Work Capability Assessment in the Main Chamber on Thursday 17th January. I support the Act Now for Autism Campaign ( and along with them I ask you to attend this debate. Please add your voice to the growing concerns of the autism community about the WCA.

Main Concerns: 

The Work Capability Assessment is not ‘fit for purpose’ as a method of assessing whether autistic adults are fit for work. Neither does it identify those who may be able to work but would need a lot of support to do so.

It would seem Clauses 3, 4 and 5 of section 20 of the Equality Act are being contravened. Reasonable adjustments are not being made and adults with autism are being placed at a significant disadvantage to other people, even compared to other disabilities and at present no steps are being taken to avoid the disadvantage. 

Despite autism being a communication disability, autistic adults are not being offered an advocate to act as an auxiliary aid. 

Part B10 of the Equalities Act is also being ignored and is being breached during the assessment process, as the effects of the environment in which the assessment is being carried out is not being taken into consideration. Adults are becoming so anxious by the process that it is seriously impacting on their ability to function effectively on a daily basis. 

Volunteer advocates within the autism community, who are living with autism themselves, are having to guide adults with autism through every step of the process, and have found that they cannot keep up with the demand for their support. They often report they are then not allowed to speak during the assessment by Atos heathcare professionals. Therefore, autistic adults are not being given the (equal) opportunity to communicate effectively and neither are they then assessed fairly.

Act Now For Autism is campaigning for advocates to be offered to every adult with autism at the first point of contact by the DWP, and for separate autism-specific descriptors. Please see their Harrington WCA 3rd Year Review evidence for more information:

I really hope you do speak up for the autistic adults in your constituency, who are so often failed by statutory services from the time they leave children's services and now also feel they are being classed as 'scroungers'. Please attend and speak up for them.

Yours faithfully

<insert your name> "