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All Ireland Civil Rights for the Autistic should be in Legislation

7 July, 2006

Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson Michael Ferguson met today with Party colleague Sean Crowe and PAPA Chief Executive Arlene Cassidy in Leinster House to discuss the importance of developing all Ireland Partnerships to promote the legislative protection of rights and entitlements of Autistic Syndrome Disorders (ASDs) Following the two hour meeting Michael Ferguson said,   “ Martin Mc Guinness while Minister for Education convened a consultation on the needs of the those on the Autistic Spectrum and in negotiation with the Dublin Government through the North South Ministerial Conference initiated the development of an Autism Centre for excellence that would begin the process of meeting assessing need, training to meet needs and researching to support need.”   “On Tuesday of this week I brought PAPA Chief Executive Arlene Cassidy into meet Marie Eagle the new British Direct Rule Education Minister and we were assures that the Centre would be functioning in autumn, that research completed would be made available and that we would receive a presentation on the new centre in the near future. In addition, we discussed the need for a legislative framework to protect the rights of the Autistic spectrum and we also discussed this with Deputy Sean Crowe in Leinster House today.”   “ Sean Crowe has agreed to support our efforts to develop an all Ireland partnership with others who are equally commitment to securing the rights and entitlements of the Autistic. With this in mind we ask Sean Crowe to ask the Leinster House Education Committee to receive a presentation by PAPA on ‘Government and Autism’. This publication was the product of research and consultation partnership work between PAPA and Autism Cymru on the level of strategic activity across, the opportunities and solutions to meeting the needs of those suffering of ASDs.”   “We hope this presentation and its findings will provide food for thought for Leinster House legislators and will reinforce the services due to be launched at the All Ireland Autism Centre for excellence at Middletown this Autumn. It is clear from our discussions to date that we need to address the civil rights of the Autistic by securing a legislative framework that will be underpinned by strategies to deliver the comprehensive integrated services required.”ENDS

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