NAP has always maintained that it is a UK-wide project and to that end, we held workshops in all four nations of the UK prior to the publication of our report, The Autism Dividend, and subsequent launch meetings in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh. The exception was N. Ireland whose political stalemate at the time rendered a report launch quite inappropriate. We were pleased to remedy this last November, by holding a workshop in Belfast for a number of NI agencies and departments to discuss the recommendations of our report. This was made possible through generous help from Autism NI, in particular, Dr Arlene Cassidy, who produced a briefing document for the meeting based on those that had been prepared last summer for meetings in London with various government bodies. We also owe a debt of thanks to the NI Department of Health for encouraging colleagues from other departments to attend.
A consensus report on the meeting was prepared by Ian Ragan, on behalf of NAP, with input from the other presenters at the event (Kerry Boyd for Autism NI and Claire Burke, an autistic advocate), and edited by the representatives of the NI agencies and departments.