Draft law on autism – your views are wanted
On 22 February 2018, the National Assembly for Wales published a draft law on autism for comment. The draft law has been developed by backbench Conservative Assembly Member Paul Davies. As drafted, the Bill would require the Welsh Government to publish an autism strategy and guidance on how it should be used.
The current Welsh Government already has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan, but the Bill would make sure there would always be an autism strategy (and that the strategy included certain principles), even if the government changed.
Spring 2017: the proposed legislation was carried forward following a ballot of back-bench Assembly Member’s suggestions, won by Paul Davies AM. National Autistic Society worked closely with members and supporters to help Paul draft a Bill that will best meet the needs of autistic people and their families in Wales.
Autumn 2017: consultation was launched on what an Autism Act should include. Responses were received by mid November.
2018: the development of the draft Autism (Wales) Bill was based on responses to the initial consultation on the general concept of an Autism Bill. Now, Paul Davies AM is publishing his draft Autism Act to ask how it could be improved.
Please read the draft Bill and share your views in response to the consultation. You can either answer the questions in the consultation document or send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find the consultation documents on their website. Easy read versions that Learning Disability Wales assisted National Assembly are also available:
The consultation closes on 17 April 2018.
What will happen next?
After people have had the chance to have their say on the draft Bill, there will be a vote in the National Assembly that decides whether or not the law will be allowed to proceed. Whilst there will still be further debate and scrutiny of the Bill and what an Autism Act could include, this will be a further opportunity for lobbying around the Bill.