2019 is drawing to a close and we’re looking back at a very busy year of campaigning! Together, we’ve worked hard to push for a society that works for autistic people and it’s great to see our efforts are paying off. Here’s some of the successes we’ve had this year, thanks to the determination of campaigners like you:

  1. At the beginning of the year, the Government announced that all health and care staff in England will receive training on autism and learning disability. This a really important victory that brings us closer to ensuring autistic people get the right care and support from professionals who understand their needs.
  2. In March, we stopped the DVLA from making autistic people disclose their diagnosis. Now, autistic people only need notify the DVLA if their autism affects their driving.
  3. For World Autism Awareness Week, you invited your MPs to attend our first ever Understanding Autism sessions in Parliament. 82 MPs took part and the sessions proved so popular that MPs asked us if we would train their staff too! Next year, we plan to do more of these sessions for new MPs.
  4. In July, the Government announced it will start recording the number of autistic people in work for the first time. This may sound like a small thing but it's really important and is a great step forward in our autism employment gap campaigning.
  5. In the summer, we teamed up with Alexis Quinn, an autistic woman detained for over three years under the Mental Health Act, to call for an end to the abuse of autistic people in inpatient units. Our campaigners were appalled at this scandal and over 217,000 of you signed our petition. As a result, the Care Minister agreed to comment on the treatment of autistic people in the Government’s response to the review of the Mental Health Act, out early next year. Although we’re glad the Government is looking into this, we know this isn’t enough and we’ll continue to push for change next year.
  6. Over 14,500 businesses held an Autism Hour this year! Tesco, Harrods, The Entertainer, Cex, and even Arsenal Football Club were just some of the businesses who used this opportunity to educate their staff about autism and take the first step towards becoming autism-friendly.
  7. In November, we celebrated 10 years since the Autism Act and launched Not Enough, our campaign to improve the autism strategy. In 2020, it will be our top priority to campaign for a strategy that improves services and support, because we know this has the potential to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of autistic adults and children in England.

There’s still a long way to go but we know we can count on our campaigners to take action. Thanks to everyone for their support throughout 2019 and we look forward to campaigning alongside you in 2020!