HISTORIC PACT TO BE LAUNCHED IN CARDIFF BETWEEN LEADING AUTISM CHARITIES OF WALES, NORTHERN IRELAND AND SCOTLAND ON JANUARY 30|
CARDIFF, Wales: A major historic pact between the leading autism charities of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland is to be launched by Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on Tuesday, January 30.
Autism Cymru, Wales’ National Charity for Autism, Autism Northern Ireland and the Scottish Society for Autism will be joining forces to advance the cause of autism within and between their respective nations.
Peter Hain, Secretary of State for Wales, is fully behind the venture and has written a letter of support to the charities in which he recognises the implications for pushing forward the cause of autism.
Current estimates are that around 60,000 people (or 1 in 50) in Wales are connected with autistic spectrum disorders either directly as individuals and also their families, or indirectly as staff working with children and adults with autism. People with autism are affected in their ability to understand and use non-verbal and verbal communication, to interact socially with others, and to think and behave flexibly.
Jane Davidson AM, WAG Minister for Education, and Brian Gibbons AM, Minister for Health, will jointly launch the partnership which also has the support of Autism Cymru's President, Baroness Jan Royall.
Hugh Morgan, Chief Executive of Autism Cymru, said: "The formation of the Celtic Nations Autism Partnership will eventually be seen as a seminal occasion and as the catalyst for the development of partnership working by the major autism charities in the UK. There are now several hundred organisations working in the rapidly expanding field of autism across the UK, and the message from this pioneering national partnership is clear – to be effective and to move the autism agenda forward, we must stop duplicating each other’s work, but increasingly work together, to share knowledge, skills, materials and to lobby government. The characteristics of autism are the same throughout the world and pressures upon families can be extreme whatever country they live in. To make things really happen for autism, we have to fight our corner together, and the autism charities for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are proudly stating: 'Let’s do it now!'”
The launch will take place at the National Assembly for Wales at 6.00 pm on January 30.
(Source: Autism Cymru, January 18, 2006)