Improving access for adults with autism to the services and support they need to live independently within the community
Section 4 of the 2010 Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives strategy sets out the strategy to ensure that adults with autism are able to benefit fully from mainstream public services by:
- reiterating the DDA requirement for services to make reasonable adjustments for adults with autism
- enabling adults with autism to benefit from personalisation of social care, and
- improving transition planning to give people with autism the right start in their adult life.
Why are developing services and support important?
Equality of access is a fundamental principle of UK public services. But it is clear that, too often, adults with autism are not currently able to access the services or support they need. This strategy sets out to change this and ensure that adults with autism are able to benefit fully from mainstream public services.
What specific recommendations regarding services and support were made in the strategy?
The following information has been copied from the 2010 strategy. We have included clause numbers from the strategy after each point. You can view the full strategy by clicking here. Section 4 on services and support starts on page 41.
Requiring services to make reasonable adjustments for adults with autism
- Since December 2006, under the disability equality duty, all public sector organisations are required to make reasonable adjustments to services to ensure they are accessible for disabled people. This duty includes making adjustments for people with autism. (4.7)
- [The Department of Health] has already committed to delivering guidance for mental health and learning disability services to indicate some of the kinds of adjustments that might usefully be made ... (4.10) (Note: This guidance is due to be published in January 2011.)
- [The Department for Work and Pensions] will also ensure Jobcentre Plus advisers are aware both of the need to make suitable adjustments for adults with autism and of the kinds of adjustments that may be beneficial. (4.11)
Enabling adults with autism to benefit from personalisation of social care
- The goal of social care today is to deliver personalised services that give each individual the right support to live a more fulfilling life. (4.13)
- We recognise that adults with autism will need additional support to make choices about their care, and that having choice is only of value when there are suitable services and support available to choose from within the local area. (4.15)
- Personal budgets are an integral part of personalisation, giving adults more control over the care services they receive, in line with their assessed needs. (4.16)
- For adults with autism, many of the most effective advocacy and buddy schemes are delivered through the third sector and volunteer groups, who have a real insight into the challenges faced by adults with autism ... We therefore encourage local authorities to explore how to support volunteer and third sector groups in planning and commissioning services locally. (4.22)
Ensuring transition planning gives people with autism the right start in their adult life
- One way of improving access to services for adults with autism is by focusing on managing the transition to adulthood so that young people have access to the services they need from the start of their adult life. (4.27)
- More needs to be known about the experiences that young people with autism and their families have of multi-agency transition services. That is why DH and DCSF are funding a study, which will report in January 2012. (4.32)