What about autistic Ken Behrans?

Once again, the ACT Government has failed autistic people in the ACT. They created a secret "disability health strategy" without mentioning autism.

Late last week, SOfASD's chair, who happens to also be A4's Convenor, was invited to a disability health "roundtable" and provided with a secret strategy paper. The only mention of autism in the 83 page paper is in a quote from a European document that suggests autism is a sub-diagnosis of intellectual disability. Autism is not mentioned at all in the Australian (or ACT) context.

ACT's dysfunctional support for autistic people

like a stop sign but says "No. Wrong door."
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2021 10:48:19 +1000
From: Bob Buckley (SOfASD Chair) <chair@sofasd.org.au>
Organisation: Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory
To: barr@act.gov.au, Andrew Barr <info@actlabor.org.au>
CC: Sara Stanley <sara@adacas.org.au>, Ms Emma Davidson MLA <davidson@act.gov.au>, gentleman@act.gov.au, Alicia.Payne.MP@aph.gov.au, Rachel Stephen-Smith <rachel@rachelstephensmith.org>, Craig Shannon (PWDACT) <unity2600@gmail.com>, actcoss@actcoss.org.au, info@advocacyforinclusion.org

Dear Chief Minister

I write to you as a systemic advocate for autistic people. Systemically, the ACT Government's former "no wrong door" policy has become a "no right door" policy. Note: the "no wrong door" policy was missing its punctuation, while the "no right door" has none.The letter below asks that a person who lodged multiple complaints with the ACT Police complaints department some time ago is asked "to contact them herself" apparently to lodge another complaint about complaints not being processed. This suggested course of action is:

ACT Government ignoring autism concerns

Media Release


Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) is deeply disappointed that the ACT Government continues to ignore concerns of the ASD community in the ACT. 

The Minister for Mental Health asked officials to review supports for people with intellectual disability and for autistic people in the ACT. Health officials held a secret working group on intellectual disability but subsequent Freedom of Information request revealed that officials ignored the needs of autistic people.  

SOfASD contacted the ACT Health and Mental Health ministers. They said they would “get back to [us] in a couple of weeks” … but they didn’t.  

Canberra autism hub to open next year will 'change lives'

John James Foundation chair Professor Paul Smith, Minister for Disability Suzanne Orr and AEIOU Foundation chair Susan Rix turn the first sod of the new AEIOU autism hub in Canberra on Wednesday. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Megan Doherty

A new autism hub in Canberra which will provide early intervention programs for up to 40 children a year has the potential to change lives and help keep families together, a father with two autistic children believes.

The $3.5 million purpose-built centre is being bankrolled by the not-for-profit John James Foundation, Canberra's largest medical charity, which uses funds from the $100 million sale of the Calvary John James Hospital and other assets in 2018 for philanthropic causes. The lease on the land for the centre in Garran was gifted by the ACT Government.


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