Our campaigns in England have achieved an incredible amount for people on the autism spectrum over the years. But there is still a long way to go until autistic people get the support, education and training they need to live their life as independently as possible.

Stay up-to-date with our progress by signing up to regular updates:

Get campaign updates

Below you can read more about:

Too Much Information

Right now, we are campaigning to challenge the myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that make autistic people feel so isolated and make society feel so unwelcoming. 

The current focus of our Too Much Information public understanding campaign is employment for autistic people. We know that the vast majority of autistic people want to work, but they often struggle to find and keep a job. Just 16% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment. And, in almost a decade, this appalling situation hasn’t improved. 

We are determined to change this, but we need your help. Read our report which sets out what we think the Government and employers need to do. Thank you to everyone who signed our recent petition to ask them to make those changes. You can also watch our new film, highlighting the difficulties autistic adults often experience with job interviews.

Learn more about TMI

Held Back

Autistic children in England are being let down and held back by the education system. Parents have to fight for the support their child is entitled to. Following a report on autism and education by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, we, together with Ambitious About Autism, have launched our Held Back campaign.

Take action now. Sign our open letter to the Secretary of State for Education to make sure no child is held back because they’re autistic.

Learn more about Held Back

Transforming Care: our stories

Our report follows 13 families who have relatives in (or at risk of being in) inpatient mental health hospitals. We wanted to find out what their experiences were, and how well they were being supported to live back in their communities. These interviews found that there are some serious failings in the health and care system at the moment, meaning that too many people on the autism spectrum, with a learning disability or both, are stuck in inpatient hospitals for far too long. This has a big effect on their health and wellbeing too.

Transforming Care is the NHS England and Government programme to try and reduce the number of people on the autism spectrum, with a learning disability or both who are in inpatient mental health hospitals – often for much longer than necessary. The programme aims to reduce the number of inpatient beds by up to a half by 2019.

Transforming Care: our stories tells the Government, NHS England and care providers the experiences of families and their relatives, along with what needs to be done to make the system work better. This includes making sure that there are enough good services in the community to support people who have very complex needs, so that they can be discharged from hospital, and making sure that the people supporting them really understand autism and learning disability.

Follow this link to read our report. The National Autistic Society worked with Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation to conduct the interviews and compile this report. We have also resources to help support people on the autism spectrum, with a learning disability, or both get involved in local decisions about Transforming Care.

Read our report

What do we campaign about?

They key policy areas we lobby and campaign on are:

  • work and benefits
  • health and social care
  • education

We also support autistic people and families to campaign on local issues. Find out more about our work here and how you can get involved.

With your help, we've achieved some amazing things for autistic people and their families over the years. Find out more about our life-changing campaigns.

Tell Us About Your Care partnershipWe're working together to make sure health and social care services in England provide people with high-quality care

As part of the Care Quality Commission's Tell Us About Your Care partnership, we will help make sure that autistic people, their families, carers, and autism professionals, can share their views and experiences of health and social care services in England.  

Like the CQC, we think it’s crucial that, as the body responsible for regulating social care and health in England, they hear from the people most closely affected. Whether it’s bad experience which must be improved, or good practice that others could learn from, it's important to let them know. 

While individuals can still contact CQC directly to share any concerns they may have, this partnership is about encouraging more autistic people and their families to share their experiences and feedback to the CQC about services such as:

  • hospitals
  • hospice services
  • GP practices, including walk-in centres and out-of-hours services
  • dentists
  • community care and support services, such as district nurses and health visitors
  • clinics providing services such as family planning, slimming and some types of cosmetic surgery
  • community mental health services
  • ambulance services

As children can also use these services, the CQC also want to hear from autistic children and their families.

What should you do next?

What to feedback

CQC want to hear good and bad feedback which will be used to help improve care across England. However, this is not a way to make a complaint. CQC explains why this is on the ‘Tell us about your care’ guidance page.

Find out more

The Health and Wellbeing Alliance

 

The National Autistic Society, Sense and VoiceAbility work together as part of the Complex Needs Consortium. This is part of the Government and NHS’ Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

The Complex Needs Consortium aims to help make the voice of people with complex needs heard in decisions made by the Government about things like health and social care.

Find out more here