For once, we’re not asking you to do anything. We just want to say thank you.
This has been a challenging year for people affected by autism. With public service cuts and reforms across health, social care, education and welfare, we’ve certainly been busy in the NAS Policy and Campaigns team.
Thankfully, we’ve had record numbers of you campaigning with us. So, take a moment to look at what we’ve achieved together, and take pride in the part you’ve played in this:
You’ve helped protect Disability Living Allowance for people with autism
3,915 of you took part in our DLA campaign, Who Benefits?
The Government backed our call to improve the assessment process for people with autism and reversed the decision to remove mobility payments for people in residential care
You’ve helped prevent abuse in homes for adults with autism
10,000 of you signed our petition for action on abuse in residential care settings
The Government agreed to have all 150 similar care homes inspected and to involve people with autism in a new review of care inspections
You’ve helped improve mental health services for children with autism
1,258 of you emailed Andrew Lansley to campaign for better support for children with autism and mental health problems
The Government have agreed there is a strong case for new Quality Standards to improve support for people with autism, and NICE are one step away from producing these
You’ve helped to get tougher sentences for hate crimes against disabled people
1,667 of you emailed the Attorney General after the men who tortured a teenager with autism got away with a very lenient sentence
The Government invited us to meet them and have agreed to guarantee tougher sentences for disability-related murders
You’ve also helped improve local mental health support, put autism at the heart of the Government’s education reforms, and called for a new funding settlement for adult social care.
At times of significant change, it is reassuring to know that when we work together, and stick at it, we’re listened to and make a real difference.
We feel humbled and proud to have the support of so many dedicated campaigners behind us. But many of our campaigns are just beginning, and a new year will bring fresh challenges, so we hope we can continue to call on your support in 2012 to back our campaigns through action and donations so we can keep making positive changes for people with autism.
Have a very happy new year.
Head of Campaigns