Consultation is starting on a wide-ranging strategy to address issues faced by more than 6,000 autistic people living in North Yorkshire has been drawn up.
The draft All-Age Autism Strategy has been developed by autistic people, their carers and families, alongside representatives from the community and voluntary sectors, North Yorkshire Council, heath services, police, probation, education and employment partners.
The launch of a three-month consultation exercise to seek views on the strategy has been approved by the council’s executive member for health and adult services, Cllr Michael Harrison.
It builds on previous work and aims to address key issues and outline a local response to eight key areas:
- Education and preparing for adulthood
- Assessment, diagnosis and support
- Health and care
- Criminal and youth justice
- Inclusive communities
Cllr Harrison said:
Our overall aim is to see young people and adults with autism and their families enjoy full, happy, and healthy lives. However, we know that many people still face significant challenges in their lives – here in North Yorkshire and across the UK. We will work on our eight key themes as well as cross-cutting areas – workforce, data and research, and making the best use of resources.
Autism is often called a spectrum condition because it can impact on people in many different ways. They may need to access different levels of support across their lives in areas such as education, employment, housing, health and care or within their communities.
That means that many different organisations have a part to play in this, working together with autistic people of all ages and their families.
Our draft strategy has been drawn up with extensive involvement with autistic people, their families and staff who support them – but through consultation we want to hear from many more autistic people of all ages as well as the carers and practitioners who work with them.
Cllr Harrison said the consultation aims to:
- Gather feedback on the strategy’s content, whether it reflects and responds to the key issues in North Yorkshire and if any areas are missing.
- Encourage people to give their views on the most important action within each of the strategy’s priority areas
- Gain opinions on the order of priority for actions to be delivered in the three-year life of the strategy.
- Collate views on the document’s layout, design and accessibility and encourage local people to be involved in its production.
The consultation, which will be launched at the end of November, will include on-line and paper surveys, in-person local events, online webinars and attendance at existing groups such as disability and older people forums. All details will be posted on www.northyorks.gov.uk