Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Petition: ACT NOW Call For Trained Autism Advocates

Every adult with a diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition who has to undertake a Work Capability Assessment or Personal Independence Payment Assessment should be offered an advocate at the first point of contact by the Department of Work and Pensions. The advocate must be experienced in working with people with an Autism Spectrum Condition. 

The Work Capability Assessment process and the assessment itself is placing adults with autism at a substantial disadvantage when compared to adults who do not have an Autism Spectrum Condition due to their impairment in communication and socialisation.

Please take a few moments to sign our petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/15171 we really want this issue to be debated in Parliament before it's too late. 

Remember to verify your signature by clicking on the link they email to you or it wont be added/counted. 

We really appreciate you taking the time to sign.

ACT NOW (Autism Campaigners Together) Core Group 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Cutting Edge.

ACT NOW Phase Four

Cutting Edge

ACT NOW is very concerned about the reduction in support for families living with autism and other disabilities when we change over to Universal Credit. This new system has the ability to severely impact on the income of families living with autism.

At the moment anyone who has a disabled child is entitled to the disability element of child tax credit. This support will change under Universal Credit and will be provided through a disability addition as part of the benefit entitlement of a household.

Families with a child not getting high rate care component DLA will see the current rate of £54 per week drop to £27 per week, this adds up to £1400 per year but as the rate is paid per child a family with two or more disabled children will lose far greater amounts of financial support.

We are deeply concerned about the reduction of £27 per week for those whose children get middle or low rate care component of DLA because the vast majority of autistic children get those rates. A huge proportion of parent carers will face this cut whilst already struggling financially.

Families of autistic children often face far greater costs than many; paying for therapies and interventions that are not freely available to our children, buying special food because of sensory issues and restricted diets, special clothing due to sensory issues as well as damage often caused by their meltdowns. There are all reasons why this cut will have a negative impact, it's like we are being told our children aren't quite disabled enough. Autism for many is a hidden disability, especially children and many families are close to breaking point.

"Families living with autism are under so much stress given the  views held by many about autism and how it manifests. Most live with no support and are now living in real terror of how some aspects of Welfare Reform will affect them." Jon Cruddas MP (ACT NOW Patron)

Jon is going to table a question in the House of Commons for ACT NOW regarding the impact of this cut on families living with autism. ACT NOW will also raise this issue in a report that is  currently being drafted for members of the House of Lords.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

We need YOUR help!

Have you had a Work Capability Assessment or are you a carer for someone who is in or has been through the process? We are putting together evidence for the Department of Work and Pensions Year 2 Call for Evidence and need to hear from you about your experience of the assessment.

All information will be treated in confidence and you can remain anonymous. 
Email us at act.now@btinternet.com