Autism Guernsey (AG) notes with considerable concern the recent statement by the Guernsey Disability Alliance (GDA) regarding the lack of progress and potential for further delays in implementing the States’ Disability and Inclusion Strategy in the Bailiwick.
Autism Guernsey applauds the GDA’s contribution to the development of the strategy and recognises the significant contribution they continue to make in seeking to improve the lives of disabled islanders. It is particularly disturbing that the delays in implementation risk a reduction in the GDA’s role, something that can only increase the possibility of further delay in the future.
While recognising that Employment and Social Security has taken on responsibility for the strategy relatively recently, it is immensely disappointing that, four years after the States of Guernsey approved the strategy, some of the most vulnerable in our society are yet to benefit significantly from it. Despite some good intentions by many States members and employees, the intentions set out in the strategy have not yet been matched by the necessary actions.
Autism Guernsey has become increasingly concerned by the slow progress of the implementation of the Autism Framework which is part of the States’ Disability and Inclusion Strategy. This, despite the best intentions of many of the States employees involved, has been characterised by delays and inadequate funding.
Autism Guernsey assists, on an almost daily basis, individuals who are unable to access the services and support they would be entitled to had the framework been fully implemented. For many of them and their families, such access can be life-changing.
Autism Guernsey believes that it is time for States Deputies to put those vulnerable individuals in our island first. They should ensure that the necessary resources are provided to implement the Strategy, that full implementation becomes a high priority for the States as a whole and that the relevant Departments are held to account for progress made in implementing the strategy.