Charities want to ensure voices of autistic people are heard
Scotland's two largest autism charities are making a final call for the views of autistic people, families and professionals on a new commissioner to promote and protect the rights of autistic people.
Closing on Sunday 21 August (at 11.30pm), the survey, jointly run by the National Autistic Society Scotland and Scottish Autism, aims to collect views which will be compiled into a report to influence politicians and the Scottish Government, as to the commissioner’s role and responsibilities.
The survey contains 10 questions in total and asks about the challenges that autistic people and families face and what the priorities of a commissioner should be. The survey is anonymous and intended for people in Scotland only.
The survey follows the successful “Our Voice Our Rights” campaign run in 2021 by the two aforementioned charities, alongside Enable Scotland, which resulted in the commitment of a commissioner for autism, Learning Disabilities and Neurodiversity by the Scottish Government in last year’s Programme for Government.
Rob Holland, director of the National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “In the lead up to the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Election, we successfully campaigned for a commissioner to promote and protect the rights of autistic people, people with a learning disability and their families.
"We now want to make sure that the voices of autistic people and families are heard loud and clear by politicians and Scottish Government as to how it will work.
"A commissioner can only be a champion for change but only if it has real teeth, the appropriate resources and correct focus. Completing this survey, will help to powerfully make that case.”
Charlene Tait, deputy CEO of Scottish Autism, said: “The commitment made in the Programme for Government to appoint an independent advocate for autistic people and others was a huge step forward.”
"As we wait for the government to begin the legislative process, we want to listen to the views of autistic people, their families, and autism professionals to understand how a commissioner would best work for them to help us build a Scotland that enables autistic people to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives."