PrintThe National Autistic Society comments on the Government’s newly announced plans to get more disabled people into work following The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper.

Last week the charity launched a campaign to close the autism employment gap with a research report, statistics and an affecting film.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive at the National Autistic Society, said:

“Today’s [31/10/16] announcement starts a welcome conversation about how to open up the workplace for disabled people – and ultimately halve the disability employment gap. The proposals look across the system, covering the role of employers, support finding work, benefits and the health service.

“This is long overdue as the current system clearly isn’t working for autistic people, who have a huge contribution to make to our economy and society. Our new research indicates that just 16% of autistic people are in full-time paid work, and this doesn’t appear to have changed in almost a decade.

“For unemployed autistic people, a key proposal in the Green Paper is the new system of personal support packages. If implemented properly, this could help autistic people access tailored support, which we know vastly increases their chances of getting into work. But, to be successful, the Government must provide funding and training to make sure this support is delivered by people who understand autism and what support will work for autistic people. Today’s [31/10/16] announcement refers to involving the voluntary sector, and our charity will be ready to help by sharing the autism expertise we’ve built up over the past 50 years.

“The Green Paper is only the start and we encourage autistic people and families to contribute to the consultation. We will be responding to highlight our latest research findings and urging the Government to develop programmes that will really work to close the autism employment gap once and for all.”

Read more about about the National Autistic Society’s campaign and video below.

“I’m not unemployable, I’m autistic”