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Sinn Féin Autism Strategy Bill needs cross party support to pass - Funchion

30 March, 2019 - by Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Fein Spokesperson for Education and Skills Kathleen Funchion has said she is hopeful that all parties will support her party’s Bill calling for an Autism Strategy this coming Tuesday evening 2nd April in the Dáil which will be marking World Autism Awareness Day.

Deputy Funchion said;

"This Bill goes beyond politics. We need this Bill to pass and to have all-party buy in to make the changes that need to happen for autistic children, adults and their families.

"Our Autism Empowerment Strategy Bill is calling for an All-Party Oireachtas Committee on Autism to be set up immediately which would be tasked with developing and publishing a comprehensive Autism Empowerment Strategy within a six month period.

"The Committee would be mandated to hear directly from autistic people and their families. It also calls legislation to be drafted and introduced to compliment and underpin the publishing of an Autism Empowerment Strategy and to give this strategy statutory footing.

"A review of NCSE policy with regard to provision of Autism classes at primary and post-primary level is needed and called for in the Bill in order to address the current crisis which parents are facing in trying to get places for their children in primary and secondary level schools across the length and breadth of of our State.

"Finally, an urgent review of supports available for autistic adults throughout the life cycle is critically needed and called for.

"Our motion was developed after much consultation and outreach within my own constituency and other areas with many parents of autistic children, carers,  teachers, principals as well as with our autism stakeholders.

"I am asking all Oireachtas TDs to lend their support to this important Bill which, if passed, would be a significant first step towards advancing the rights of our autistic Irish citizens and paving the way to a better future for coming generations. Let’s work together to do this.

"We want to make their voices heard with this Bill and sincerely hope Government Ministers and the Taoiseach will hear us."

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