As co-patrons of Autism NI, Bap & Brenda Kennedy would like to congratulate Autism NI.
In the words of Dr Arlene Cassidy (CEO Autism NI) -
“We made history, folks!!! LETS CIRCULATE THIS WIDELY TO ENSURE THAT THE NEWS IS OUT “.
By virtue of the Autism Act (NI) 2011, Northern Ireland now leads the way in terms of Disability Legislation as it affects people on the autistic spectrum.
The following email is the text of an email which has now been sent out throughout the entire Northern Ireland Civil Service ......
Changes to Disability Discrimination Act 1995
This note advises staff and managers of an important change to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA).
The DDA provides protection for disabled persons against discrimination. It also recognises that various barriers exist within society which may present practical difficulties for disabled persons who are in employment. Accordingly there is a positive duty on employers to make “reasonable adjustment” to their policies and premises where reasonable and appropriate.
The DDA defines disability as “a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition which means that while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.
The Autism Act (NI) 2011 has amended the DDA to remove any ambiguity as to whether the term “disability” applies to autism spectrum conditions. The effect of this amendment is to clarify that a condition which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on someone’s ability to “take part in normal social interaction” or in “forming social relationships” can constitute a “disability”.