Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society (NAS) today announced
"Today we have made legal history. The Autism Bill has made it through its last parliamentary stage, and upon Royal Assent it will become the Autism Act 2009: the first ever disability-specific law for England.
"The Act will guarantee a future Adult Autism Strategy which will put legal duties on local authorities in England to improve services for people with autism. The Strategy will be published in the next six months and we will of course continue to campaign to ensure it is as strong as it can be and makes a real difference to people affected by autism.
"The Autism Act started out as a Private Members Bill, drafted by the NAS and taken forward by Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan. Over the past year, thousands of NAS campaigners (including many of you!) have contacted their MP or local newspaper to support the Bill, and it has also had the backing of all the major political parties and 16 other autism charities from around the country."
Research Autism welcomes this news and congratulates the NAS and the coalition of other autism organisations, as well as people with autism and their families and parliamentarians, on such a good outcome.
Richard Mills, Director of Research at Research Autism said
"This is a wonderful end to a determined campaign led by the NAS. We are hopeful that it will lead to an improvement in services and support for adults with autism in England. As the evidence base for effective services for adults is poor we hope that the Autism Strategy, that will underpin the Act, will take full account of the potential contribution of research to the development of effective services. Research Autism is proud to have been associated with this campaign."
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