Gale pushes giant button for autism
18th October 2013
North Thanet`s MP Sir Roger Gale, pushed a giant button as he pledged his support for a campaign aimed at improving the lives of adults with autism in East Kent and across England.
Nicknamed ‘Jenson’, the big travelling button is the mascot of the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) ‘Push for Action’ campaign, aimed at improving support for adults with autism across England.
More than one in every hundred people has autism, meaning there are around 460,000 adults in England with the lifelong developmental disability. The Autism Act was passed in 2009 with the intention of ensuring they got the everyday support they need.
Four years on, despite good progress in some parts of the country, many with the condition are still waiting. In a recent survey, 70% of adults with autism said they do not receive the support they need from social services.
Only 10% receive social skills training, yet 55% would like to receive it
Only 10% receive employment support, yet 55% would like to receive it
Only 17% have access to a social group, yet 42% would like to have access to one
This year the Government is reviewing the impact of the Autism Act. Sir Roger Gale is supporting ‘Push for Action’ to make sure adults with autism in [constituency/local area] and across England can access support. After having a go at pushing ‘Jenson’ the button, Sir Roger Gale met people with autism at the event in Parliament to discuss the campaign.
The button will now spend two weeks on the road, travelling to events across England where local people will rally others to sign up to a campaign petition that will be handed in at 10 Downing Street, the button’s final destination.
Sir Roger said: “People tend to forget that it is not only children but adults as well that experience autism. If they don’t have the right support, many of those people can struggle with the everyday activities that many of us take for granted. I hope that my constituents will “ push the button” and get behind the National Autistic Society’s ‘Push for Action’ campaign, so that we can help to improve life for adults with the condition.”
Mark Lever, Chief Executive for the National Autistic Society, said:
“The big red button is a bit of fun, but it also carries a very serious message. Many adults with autism have been waiting a long time to get the everyday support that they need.
“We’ve seen great strides forward in some parts of the country since 2009, but progress has been too slow and too patchy.
“Decision makers from Whitehall to town halls must make adults with autism a priority again so that support is put in place for all who need it.
“The Government's Autism Act review gives people with autism a second chance to be heard - we need to make it count.”
Jensen the travelling button’s journey can be followed on Twitter @NASbutton