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For Written Answer on : 23/11/2021
Question Number(s): 441 Question Reference(s): 57097/21
Department: Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.


To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the progress made by his Department in advancing a national strategy on autism; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


National action in respect of autism is a firm commitment in the Programme for Government. Earlier this year, Minister Rabbitte announced an intention to develop an Autism Innovation Strategy with the aim of launching it in 2022. In Budget 2022, Minister Rabbitte and I secured €100,000 for the design and implementation of the Autism Innovation Strategy, and for awareness raising around it.

A Strategy Development Group to develop the Autism Innovation Strategy will be established, which Minister Rabbitte has indicated that she will chair. In line with our commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is critical that the strategy be informed by the lived experiences of people with autism, their families and their representatives.

Ireland has two national policy frameworks that address and respond to issues that affect all persons with disabilities, including those with autism. These strategies are the National Disability Inclusion Strategy (NDIS), the Steering Group of which is chaired by Minister Rabbitte, and the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for Persons with Disabilities (CES), which is independently chaired by Fergus Finlay. These strategies guide policy and action across Government in respect of addressing and breaking down the barriers faced by persons with disabilities, including those with autism.