Update on NAT’s activities – January 2022

Representation and networking

The NAT continues to be represented on:

  • The executive board of EUCAP (the European Council of Autistic People), of which NAT is an associate member.
  • The Operational Delivery Group for the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training (OMMT), convened by DHSC.
  • British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Homes not Hospitals campaign
  • The Workforce Autism Group England (WAGE) organised by HEE, Skills for Health and Skills for Care

NAT representatives were heavily involved through WAGE with the drafting and publication of the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People which now forms the basis for the content of the OMMT, as well as becoming the basis for most autism training in the health and social care sectors.

Please note that NAT representation on a group does not automatically mean that NAT agrees with or supports everything done by that group. We seek to provide a strong autistic voice, including appropriate challenge, particularly around issues affecting autistic people who may be less able to advocate for themselves.

The NAT Guide and Forum

We built on the publication of our ‘Independent Guide to Quality Care for Autistic People’ by convening an invitation-only Forum in September 2021 in which the implementation of the guide in practice was discussed. A full report, the plenary presentations and a series of short video introductions to the 10 recommendations on the NAT Guide are now available on NAT’s website and the link has been sent out to all those who attended or sent apologies.

The NAT Forum also provided a much-valued opportunity to publicly express our thanks and pay tribute to Elizabeth Vallance and Dinah Murray.

Inclusive Governance

In March 2021, Scottish Autism issued an invitation to tender seeking “creative and collaborative tenders from autistic consultants and autistic led organisations/consortiums to support us to develop and deliver a change programme. This programme will result in an inclusive governance approach at Board and operational level.” NAT formed a consortium with two Scotland-based autistic organisations, Autism Rights Group Highland (ARGH) and Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh (AMASE) and submitted a successful project bid.

The first phase of the project has now been completed and the project team is currently engaged in consultations with stakeholders, including individuals supported by Scottish Autism and the wider autistic community.

AutNav

NAT partnered with Scottish Autism to develop AutNav, an app based on an idea from our founder Dinah Murray. AutNav is intended to empower autistic users who may need support to access the internet with greater autonomy and independence. AutNav is now entering the user testing stage, we hope that it will be in the App Store soon.

Research

NAT maintains an interest and involvement in a range of research activities relevant to our core mission. We are in the early stages of exploring partnership opportunities with a view to a substantial research project building on the NAT Guide.

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