Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
114. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the status of the Autism Innovation Strategy Working Group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59529/21]
National action in respect of autism is a commitment in the Programme for Government. Earlier this year, Minister Rabbitte announced an intention to develop an Autism Innovation Strategy with the aim of launching it in 2022. In Budget 2022, Minister Rabbitte and I secured €100,000 for the design and implementation of the Autism Innovation Strategy, and for awareness raising around it.
A Working Group, called the Strategy Development Group, will be established to develop the Autism Innovation Strategy. This process will begin after the establishment of the next iteration of the Disability Stakeholder Group has fully concluded.
In line with our commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is critical that the strategy be informed by the lived experiences of autistic people, their families and their representatives.
Ireland has two national policy frameworks that address and respond to issues that affect all persons with disabilities, including those with autism. These strategies are the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS), the Steering Group of which is chaired by Minister Rabbitte, and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities (CES), which is independently chaired by Fergus Finlay. These strategies guide policy and action across Government in respect of addressing and breaking down the barriers faced by persons with disabilities, including those with autism.