Autism Advisory Group April 2024 Communique

The Autism Advisory Group (AAG) met online on 16 April 2024 for their second meeting this year.

The Chairperson, Ms Rebecca Faulkingham, CEO National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), welcomed Jacqui Borland as a new AAG member from the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorder and acknowledged the contributions of departing member, Pam Macrossan.

Focus of the meeting

The meeting covered:

  • Implementing the National Guideline on Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism.
  • Update on the National Autism Strategy.
  • Impact of NDIS Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track) Bill (bill).

National Guideline on Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism

AAG members (members) talked about a proposed co-design approach to implementing the new National Guidelines (the Guidelines) into NDIA practices and processes.

The Guidelines are:

  • National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism in Australia
  • National Guideline for supporting the learning, participation and wellbeing of autistic children and their families in Australia

Members also talked about how AAG members with expertise and lived experience could take part in current and future NDIA co-design projects.

It was noted current and future NDIA co-design projects might change when the Government provides its response to the NDIS Review.

Members said it was important:

  • For the NDIA to continue to engage with AAG on this work to ensure people with Autism have input to any changes.
  • For the NDIA to consider how and when information is shared with the community.
  • To understand the work individual organisations are undertaking on the Guidelines.
  • To understand the information and expertise others can provide to AAG and Agency.
  • To ensure there are links across all co-design pieces of work.

The implementation of the Guidelines within the NDIA will be a standing item for AAG agenda.

National Autism Strategy

The Department of Social Services (DSS) provided an overview of the National Autism Strategy (the Strategy). The Strategy addresses the barriers and disadvantages faced by Autistic people. The Strategy’s key vision is for a safe and inclusive society where Autistic people can fully take part in all aspects of life, in line with international human rights.

DSS said work has begun on an implementation plan. People can comment on the draft Strategy until 31 May 2024.

/Public Release. View in full here.