The Autism Act 2009 was a unique and groundbreaking piece of legislation. It signalled a new commitment across government to transforming the way public services support adults with autism. But, more importantly, it is the foundation stone for a wider programme of activity across the public sector, designed to drive that change.
This national autism strategy – the first ever created in England – is the next major landmark in this process. It represents a shared approach towards a common goal: a society that not only accepts and understands autism, but also provides real opportunities for adults with autism to live fulfilling and rewarding lives.
The strategy is built on a fundamental recognition: too many people with autism are missing out on the chance of the quality of life that others enjoy. This is a denial of their potential, their personal aspirations, their hopes for the future. It places a heavy burden on their families, and, as many have pointed out, a heavy burden on the UK economy too.
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