National Autism Strategy
In late 2022, Autism CRC was commissioned by the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services (DSS), to undertake foundational work to support the co-design and development of a National Autism Strategy (NAS or the Strategy). This included two key activities:
- comprehensive review and mapping of the research evidence and policy landscape across key service areas
- development of a co-design process to provide a set of recommendations for inclusive community engagement and consultation in the development of the Strategy.
Final Reports, Executive Summaries and Easy Read documents related to these projects can be found in Knowledge Centre and on the corresponding project pages.
Research evidence and policy landscape mapping
The research evidence and policy landscape mapping project aimed to provide a review and synthesis of community views, research evidence, and policy relating to key service areas to be addressed in the National Autism Strategy.
Research in each service area included:
- an online survey gaining perspectives of more than 1,000 autistic people, their families/carers, and those who work to support them
- an umbrella review summarising research findings reported in systematic reviews
- a policy review summarising relevant federal, national, and state/territory level policy.
The integrated findings of each of the three forms of research highlighted gaps, and provide a strong foundation to clearly identify needs, issues and potential solutions to aid the development of the Strategy.
Community insights and unheard perspectives
The community insights and unheard perspectives co-design project aimed to develop a series of recommendations for inclusive community engagement in the development of the Strategy.
Through a co-design process, several population groups that may require a tailored or adapted approach to actively participate in the development of the NAS were identified.
To support clear recommendations for inclusive community engagement, the project included:
- a literature and environmental scan on best practice community engagement and key considerations for the target population groups
- analyses of the Community views national survey (n=645) and co-delivered workshops and interviews with autistic individuals and representatives from peak bodies, and autism and/or disability organisations (n=42).
The community insights and recommendations established through this body of work have potential to foster inclusive community engagement with all autistic people, including those who have not previously been involved.
- Cheryl Mangan, Autism CRC