Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) has a policy that addresses the conduct of officials and agencies that choose to ignore crucial questions and issues affecting autistic people and people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
SOfASD interprets failure/refusal to answer a question to be deliberate avoidance of the question. SOfASD will interpret that deliberate avoidance of a question means an honest/accurate answer is the worst possible response; it would reflect most negatively on the person or organisation.
SOfASD's policy follows (or can be downloaded below).
Policy on unanswered questions and unaddressed concerns
Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD) is a grassroots organisation advocating for autistic people and people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). SOFASD has a full program of systemic advocacy aimed at improving outcomes for autistic people and people living with ASD.
Previously, officials and politicians chose to ignore some questions that SOFASD asked or some issues SOFASD raised. In the past, government and its agencies avoided matters that are crucial/essential for the very vulnerable members of the ASD community by ignoring parts (or the whole) of correspondence with SOFASD.
SOFASD asks important questions so when people and agencies do not respond they send the autistic community a very clear message that they do not care … or worse. When SOFASD asks a question, SOFASD expects and autistic people deserve an answer.
Basically, failure (or refusal) of a person or agency to answer SOFASD’s questions is unacceptable. Delay in crucial matters is detrimental for people who already experiences substantial disadvantage.
SOFASD does not have the time and resources to chase people or agency representatives who fail to do their jobs properly; who do not meet their responsibilities to taxpayers and the wider community to provide essential information, answer questions and address deficiencies in it’s programs.
SOFASD recognises and expects that agency employees who are responsible for responding to SOFASD’s correspondence are quite literate, so they understand the questions that SOFASD asks. If an agency or its staff have any doubt or uncertainty about any of SOFASD’s questions, they should contact SOFASD promptly for clarification.
Usually, SOFASD numbers the questions so a respondent can easily number answers correspondingly. There is no reason for accidentally omitting a response to any question when preparing a response for SOFASD.
Henceforth, SOFASD will treat a person or agency’s failure to answer its question within a reasonable period as a deliberate choice to not answer. SOFASD will interpret a missing answer to mean the answer to the question is extremely negative or the worst answer possible … it is an answer so bad that the person or agency cannot put it in writing.
Similarly, a person or agency’s failure or refusal to acknowledge any concern that SOFASD raises should be interpreted to mean complete/total rejection of that concern of the people SOFASD represents.
Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder Committee