Have your say on the state’s first Autism Strategy
What is happening?
The autistic and autism communities have long advocated for greater community knowledge, understanding and support for autistic people.
A recent member survey undertaken by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand found 92% of autistic people would find communicating about autism easier if there were broader community understanding and acceptance and increased community education.
This shows it is time to move beyond talking about creating autism awareness. It is time to build knowledge, understanding and acceptance to create lasting, and long overdue, cultural change across the community.
The State Government has listened to the calls of autistic people and families. In a nation first, the Premier appointed an Assistant Minister for Autism to solely focus on representing the autistic and autism communities.
The State Government will work with the autistic and autism communities to co-design the state’s first Autism Strategy (the Strategy) and Charter (the Charter).
The state’s first Autism Strategy
The Strategy will support a dedicated whole of Government approach to create a fairer and more inclusive society. The Strategy will focus on key priority areas which autistic individuals have repeatedly raised as involving particular challenges and barriers, including:
- respect for rights, autonomy and diversity
- safety, justice and equity
- community understanding, knowledge and acceptance
- government services
- health, mental health and wellbeing
- education, employment and the workforce.
The Strategy will also align to the State Disability Inclusion Plan (Inclusive SA) and play an important role in shaping future State Government policies. The Strategy will be developed to complement the work undertaken in relation to the Federal Government’s National Autism Strategy.
Importantly, the Strategy will be co-designed with and for the autistic and autism communities. Meaningful cultural change and greater inclusion in our community can only come about by consulting, listening, and creating open dialogue with the autistic and autism communities.
The State Government is committed to creating a more inclusive and fairer society for all. As the state’s largest employer, the State Government will lead the way in bringing change to our workplaces through the creation of a Charter to be rolled out to all Government agencies.
The development and creation of the Strategy is an important step towards creating a more inclusive and knowledgeable society where autistic people can meaningfully participate in the community.
Your feedback provides meaningful insight into the priority areas which autistic and autism communities consider to be most important. Eight topics started the discussion:
- State Autism Strategy
- Defining autism
- Rights, autonomy and diversity
- Community attitudes
- Access to Government Services
- Health, mental health and wellbeing
- Education, employment and the workforce
- Spaces and the built environment.
Shaping the state's first Autism Strategy
Discussion Paper and YourSAy Survey
This Discussion Paper and YourSAy survey is the start of public consultation and co-design for the Strategy and Charter with ideas and questions that will help shape them.
If you have a consultation enquiry enquiries, please email: SAAutismStrategy@sa.gov.au.
Thank you to the autistic and autism communities for a tremendous response to the State’s first Autism Strategy – Discussion Paper, and your involvement in many forums and discussions in 2023.
Following the closure of the first phase of consultation on 20 February 2023, DHS have started collating the responses. We will produce a Consultation Report that will be made public. This report will reflect what we have heard via YourSAy and the many direct discussions with the autistic and autism communities.
Charter and Strategy
We will then develop a draft Charter and Strategy which will be provided for further public consultation throughout 2023.
Stay informed on the latest
To keep informed on the SA Autism Strategy, visit the YourSAy website.