Manifesto for Autistic and neurodivergent People's rights

Posted on 27-06-20 by Janine Booth View image Number of votes: 50 | Number of comments: 82

Millions of people are autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic or otherwise neurodivergent. They experience systematic discrimination and exclusion.
Neurodivergent Labour has consulted widely in drafting a comprehensive manifesto for change.
We want the Labour Party to adopt our manifesto in full.

Its key principles are:
• The social model of disability: Disability is caused by society creating barriers to the equal participation of impaired (or neurologically different) people.
• The neurodiversity approach: Humanity is neurologically diverse; people have different brain structure. ADHD, dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and other conditions are neurological differences. We want human neurodiversity to be accepted not suppressed.
• Opposing austerity: We need adequate public services, benefits and wages. We oppose cuts.
• Socialism, democracy, solidarity: We base our manifesto on labour movement values. We want to challenge the social roots of discrimination.
• Nothing about us without us: Policies and services must be shaped by neurodivergent people.

Its key policies are:

• Diagnosis/identification service available to all, without delays, recognising neurodivergent conditions in girls and women as well as in boys and men. Assessment for any other, related conditions.
Adequate support following diagnosis.

• Independent living, services and welfare
Require local authority Autism Boards to include representatives of autistic people.
Scrap Work Capability Assessments; adequate benefits for all who need them.
Equal and adequate health and social care. Appropriate, publicly-controlled, accountable care close to home, family and/or other support networks.
Social housing and support to enable independent living.
Consideration of neurodiversity in domestic violence services.
Neurodiversity training for all public service staff.
Provision for autism service dogs.

• Education
Well-funded, publicly-run, accountable schools.
Smaller class sizes.
Varied teaching and assessment methods, recognising diversity in people's learning style and pace.
Neurodiversity training for all teachers and teaching assistants as part of core training.
Provision for neurodivergent students at all early years provision, schools, colleges and universities.
Reverse SEND cuts.
Education about neurodiversity in the curriculum, including support with social interaction.
Take the stress out of studying.

• Work
Require employers to make workplaces more equal and accessible and less hostile, including through adopting a neurodiversity policy and training for all staff.
Job applications and interviews to be accessible, non-discriminatory, and include support.
Appropriate, secure job for all who can work.
Remove the cap on Access to Work.
Ensure that anti-discrimination law covers volunteers as well as employees.
Support for self-employed neurodivergent people.

• Prejudice and discrimination
Apply Universal Design to make the built environment less distressing and more accessible.
Apply a strategy to tackle bullying and hate crime.
Regulate treatments and therapies aimed at autistic and other neurodivergent people. Legislate against quack 'cures' such as MMS (bleach) which cause harm.
Investigate autistic people's concerns about Applied Behaviour Analysis and similar 'treatments' that aim to 'make autistic people indistinguishable from their peers' and which many consider to be abusive.

• Justice
Ensure the justice system is accessible to people of all neurologies.
Neurodiversity training for all justice staff.
Ensure that non-harmful unusual behaviours are not criminalised, and that people receive support rather than punishment if an intolerable environment causes disruptive behaviour.
Support and rehabilitation for offenders with ADHD and/or other neurodivergent conditions.
Make neurological status a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, with the same legal protections as disability.
Strengthen the Public Sector Equality Duty and extend it to the private sector.
Develop the Autism Act to include eg. obligations on employers.

• Promote understanding
Campaign to raise public awareness of neurodiversity.
More resources for research, in areas guided by the concerns of neurodivergent people.
When considering new policies, considers the impact on all of our neurodiverse population.

Referring to: Work, Pensions and Equality

The Work, Pensions and Equality Policy Commission is charged with developing Labour’s policy on social security, poverty and equalities.

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