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Autism: Health Services

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that the national autism strategy provides guidance on reasonable adjustments that public service providers can make to support adults with autism. (320662)

The Government's strategy for adults with autism in England, ‘Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives’, was published on 3 March 2010 and is available at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_113369

Copies have been placed in the Library.

The strategy reiterates the requirement under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 for services to make reasonable adjustments for disabled adults—this includes adults with autism. Within the strategy we have committed to delivering guidance to indicate the kinds of adjustments that might be usefully made, from physical adjustments to premises to improving the ways those delivering services communicate with adults with autism.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has also underlined its commitment to making adjustments for adults with autism using Jobcentre Plus services. As well as making any required reasonable adjustments—such as making use of the most suitable environment or premises for conducting work focused interviews—DWP will also ensure Jobcentre Plus advisers are aware of both the need to make suitable adjustments for adults with autism and of the kinds of adjustments that may be beneficial.