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.  

“There is no discernible interest, let alone progress” Mr Buckley, Chair of SOfASD, said. “Autistic people are among the most vulnerable in our community and the ACT Government isn’t supporting them.” 

“Autistic people have high levels of mental illness but public mental health services deny them access. Autistic people often experience disability discrimination in the ACT’s health system. Autistic people are usually unemployed so they cannot afford private health services, and relevant health services in the private sector are limited or non-existent in the ACT”, he said. 

“It is a disgrace that the ACT Government just sidelines these issues”. 

Submissions to the Senate Select Committee on Autism inquiry are due mid-July. 

Contact: Bob Buckley, e: chair@sofasd.org.au 

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