The Liberal Democrats have passed a motion at their Spring party conference that would see changes made to the Equalities Act and Autism Act to allow those with autism to achieve their full potential. The Motion also calls on the Government to support individuals who are diagnosed with autism.
The motion calls on the Government to provide support to those who are diagnosed with autism with sweeping reform including:
- Education about neurodivergence to be included on the curriculum in the same way mental health is currently. With increased teacher training.
- Reduced wait lists for diagnosis by increasing funding and making diagnosis more accessible, by stopping gatekeeping and reducing steps required for diagnosis to be official in NHS terms.
- A change to ensure Autism is not represented as decreasing quality of life, and equal access to support and diagnosis for autistic women, girls, non-binary individuals and ethnic minorities.
- Guidance on employment to be updated to ensure the Equality Act 2010 is fulfilled and employers can support autistic individuals in their employment. Further improvements to the Autism Act 2009, to create obligations on employers and local authorities to support autistic people with their care assessments.
- Autistic offenders to be met with support and not punishment when the crime is non-violent. The creation of sensory spaces to be provided for autistic individuals engaging with the justice system.
Commenting on the motion passing Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrat Health & Social Care Spokesperson said:
“Liberal Democrats believe every individual should be able to achieve their potential and that means doing everything we can to support the millions of autistic people living in the UK.
“This motion calls on the Government to make substantial changes to the law and official guidance to better support autistic people. By including lessons on neurodivergence in schools curriculums, putting in place funding to speed up the diagnosis process and ensuring that autistic people can be supported by their employers, we can begin to create a society that works for people with autism."