Sunday 1 February 2015

Coalition Britain May 2010 – May 2015 How was it for you?


 ‘Yes this is ambitious. Yes it is optimistic. But in the end all of the Acts of Parliament, all the new measures, all the policy initiatives, are just politicians’ words without you and your involvement’.

So how involved have we been in the decisions that have been made for and about us during the last 5 years? 

Do you feel that we were listened to and involved? Act Now for Autism certainly don’t feel listened to. 

We wrote, we called, we campaigned. 

Carole Rutherford stood up and addressed a room full of MPs and people at an All Party Parliamentary Meeting for Autism in the House of Commons. Mavourneen Moore and Anna Kennedy spoke at the same meeting. Carole Rutherford sat next to two Ministers in two separate meetings and went into detail about the need for meaningful two way communication and support. 

Anna Kennedy spoke to David Cameron, face to face, about autism and subsequently made clear in writing, how we and thousands of others in the autism community felt, and how difficult our lives were becoming. 

We don’t feel listened to; we don’t feel that we were in any way involved. There was far too much happening about us, without us! 

For anyone living in England what about the 2010 English Autism Strategy ‘Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives’? Has it brought riches and fulfilment to your lives? Has the refreshed strategy ‘Think Autism’ made any difference to the way in which your Local Authority was implementing the Autism Strategy, or was it just more words falling an already deaf ears.

We want to know what you think. We want you to join in the conversation about what the priorities should be for people in the UK living with autism 2015. We want to hear from you and we want to involve you. We have had some thoughts about what those priorities should be and what we and you can do to make our voice heard. 

You can join that conversation her:
In 2010, 6000 people signed in support of our Act Now for Autism Campaign. 2923 people helped us to put together an Impact Assessment detailing how you thought the cuts to budgets and services would impact on you! In 3 months more people fed into our campaign than fed into the Brian Lamb inquiry about Special Education Needs over a two year period. 

We will soon invite you to take part in a conversation about our next campaign and what the autism community’s priorities are and should be during the next five years. We can’t do this without you.

Watch this space.

David Cameron said on 4th May 2010:
"And I want to say to British people clearly and frankly this; if you are elderly, if you are frail, if you are poor, if you are needy, a Conservative government will always look after you"

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, director of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre, said in January 2015: "the optimism brought on by the Autism Act has been diminished by a lack of spending".

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