Thursday, 16 December 2021
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
National action in respect of autism is a firm commitment in the Programme for Government. Earlier this year, my colleague 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.
In line with our commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is critical that the Autism Innovation Strategy be informed by the lived experiences of people with autism, their families and their representatives. As such, the first step in the development of the Strategy will be a consultation on its design, which I expect to occur early in 2022.
The Autism Innovation Strategy will be aligned to Ireland's existing national policy frameworks which address and respond to issues that affect all persons with disabilities, including those with autism. These strategies are the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS) and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities (CES).
The Innovation Strategy will compliment these structures by focusing on the specific challenges that face persons with autism, and will seek to break down bespoke barriers by focusing on practical and tangible actions and outcomes.