We support autistic people and their families to campaign for change and to make sure their voice is heard. Everything The National Autistic Society Northern Ireland campaigns on is informed by the views and experiences of autistic people and their families.
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Our work with the Northern Ireland Assembly
Our charity plays an active role in raising awareness of autism in the Northern Ireland Assembly and with Government Departments.
We work with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), give evidence to Assembly committees, provide briefings and hold campaign events in Stormont.
We attend the All Party Assembly Group on Autism and sits on the Assembly Disability Advisory Group where we highlight issues faced by people with autism and their families.
In 2016, The National Autistic Society Northern Ireland and Autism NI published the Broken Promises report, which demonstrated that the 2011 Autism Act and resulting Strategy and Action Plan had failed to deliver on its promises of help for autistic people, their families and carers. The report called for the government to fulfil the obligations it promised in 2011.
Autism Access Award
The National Autistic Society worked with the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission on a pilot project to make Parliament Buildings autism-friendly.
Work began in November 2011 and a number of initiatives were undertaken which resulted in them receiving the first autism access award in the UK.
As part of this project around 90 staff including security has received autism awareness training, with the creation of 10 autism champions. Improvements have also included the setting up of a quiet room and developing clearer signage, such as warning stickers on noisy hand dryers and symbols on toilet doors.
The Assembly, worked closely with an autism consultation group who were comprised of adults with autism and parents and carers. They also produced a film showing what to expect when arriving at the entrance to the Stormont Estate, as well as a dedicated section on its website to help anyone on the autism spectrum prepare for their visit.
For information on getting involved in Northern Ireland, please email campaign.NI@nas.org.uk or visit the assembly website.