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Friday, October 23, 2009

Don't Write Me Off Campaign

As has been noted on lbrb, yesterday the landmark Autism Bill passed its final stage in the House of Lords today to become England’s first ever disability-specific law, and once it receives Royal Assent, will become the Autism Act. (I like how simply things are called over there, Autism Act, Employment and Support Allowance, National Autistic Society... just beautiful)

Now, the National Autistic Society, who drafted the bill on behalf of many autism charities, is also demanding that the strategy tackle the low numbers of autistics who are employed, and making sure that autistics are supported in applying for work, benefits and in the workplace through their Don't Write Me Off Campaign.

From the About the Campaign page on the site:

We followed the experiences of a group of people with autism as they applied for Employment and Support Allowance (the new benefit for people who may find it harder to get a job because of their disability), and surveyed a group of adults about their experiences of work and applying for benefits.

From this research, the Don’t Write Me Off campaign found that of the people we surveyed:

  • just 15% have a full-time job
  • one third are currently without a job or access to benefits
  • 79% of those on Incapacity Benefit want to work.

The experiences that people with autism have shared with us show that, sadly, the majority are not getting the support they need to find a job and many more cannot access the benefits they need to live on.

However, it doesn’t have to be like this. There are clear and often simple steps that governments across the UK can take to deliver real change for people with autism. Adults with autism need:

  • Employment and Support Allowance to work for them
  • Jobcentre Plus staff to understand and meet their needs
  • a national strategy to transform access to employment.

With your help, we can make this happen. Please join our campaign, to help make the system fair for people with autism.

As some one who would love to see this sort of support, strategy and campaigning in my own country, who is on social assistance and is applying for social housing, I fully support this campaign. I know there's not a lot I can do from this side of the ocean. However, I wish to do what I can.

Please support the Don't Write Me Off Campaign.


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