Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

NAS Scotland launches three-year strategy to improve the lives of autistic people

The National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland has announced the launch of a new three-year strategy, which sets out to create a society that works for autistic people and their families.

The strategy builds on NAS’ ‘Moonshot vision’, which was published in 2022. This vision was based on a major exercise undertaken by NAS, which asked autistic people and their families about the challenges they face and the changes they wanted to see.

This led to the publication on ‘The Moonshot’ – a shared vision of an autism-friendly society. This type of society, according to autistic people and their families, values autistic individuals, maximises autistic power, guarantees support, adapts public spaces and services, and is free from discrimination.

And now, NAS has set out to bring this vision to life by 2026. To do this, the Society says they will:

  • ensure that autistic people are at the heart of design, development, and delivery;
  • empower autistic people and families and amplify their voices;
  • collaborate wherever they can.

Strategy to be rolled out on a UK wide level

In the strategy, NAS has set out various ambitions which aim to make autistic families dreams and beliefs a reality.

For example, to ensure that autistic people have influence over important decisions, NAS says it will work with organisations and local governments/councils to ensure:

  • Public spaces are welcoming, with adjustments that recognise diverse needs and preferences;
  • Autistic people have positive education experiences, with a curriculum and learning environments that suit them;
  • The needs of autistic people are recognised and met in healthcare, social care, housing, mental health and justice;
  • Autistic people are a core part of the workforce and kind, flexible workplaces are commonplace.

The strategy will not only be rolled out in Scotland, but on a UK level, and Rob Holland, Director of the National Autistic Society Scotland says NAS now looks forward to collaborating with partners and other organisations.

NAS says they “cannot deliver this strategy alone”

“Today is an exciting day and I’m hugely proud of the strategy – not least with the steps we’ve taken to include autistic people, families, volunteers, professionals, and staff in its development.

“It is ambitious and ensures that we put the voices of autistic people firmly at the heart of what we’re doing, whether that’s designing and delivering our support through to our campaigning and influencing work.

“We cannot deliver this strategy alone and so to be successful, we will collaborate and partner with others who share our vision and want to see it become a reality,” he said.

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