Autistic Advocates Going Gold on World Autism Day
This World Autism Day Autistic led organisations, Autistic UK and The Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project will be holding an event to recognise World Autism Day and to promote Autistic Acceptance. Joining together with other user-led organisations to strengthen the Autistic Voice. The event has kindly been sponsored by Mark Isherwood AM and the Welsh Cross Party Autism Group.
Going Gold for Autistic Acceptance will be held on the afternoon of Tues 2nd April at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay.The Senedd is the main public building of the National Assembly, the main centre for democracy and devolution in Wales
This event has been organised by Willow Holloway Welsh Development lead of the Autistic UK committee and founder of The AWE Project.
Autistic UK and The AWE Project are grass -roots voluntary user led organisations. currently unfunded and relying on donations and self-funding to cover the cost of their work..
The day will bring together Autistic individuals advocates, campaigners and their supporters with policy makers and professionals working within the field of autism to discuss the lives of autistic people in Walesaround a 100 people are expected to attend.
This is an ideal opportunity to network with autistic people and learn more about their needs and hopes for the future .The overriding aim of the event is too build links and relationships between autistic adults and the bodies that provide services here in Wales and to promote the inclusion of all autistic voices during the development of policy and the design of services.
The event will be opened by Mark Isherwood. Chair of the Cross-Party Autism Group and Regional Assembly Member for North Wales. He has been campaigning for autistic people’s rights for many years and is a strong supporter and allie of the autistic community in Wales.
This will then be followed by individuals sharing their experiences and the views their organisations have gained from the wider autistic community Willow Holloway, event organiser is the founder of the Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project, Welsh Development Lead Autistic UK, Vice Chair of Disability Wales and a Director of Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales plus she sits on several groups and panels acting as a stakeholder representative at a local and national level in Wales. Willow was nominated for a Jo Cox Cymru Women’s Champion Award and was a finalist in the Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List. Willow will be talking about including autistic people in strategy moving forward. The importance of understanding the need for acceptance representation and equality and the recognition of autistic people’s rights. Willow has recently become a Bevan Advocate and will also be discussing the barriers to healthcare.
Julian Morgan is a longstanding member of the Autistic Uk Committee. He is also a member of the NHS England consultative group. Julian has spent many years campaigning for the rights of autistic and disabled people. Julian will be talking to us about Autistic UKs Going Gold campaign Neurodiversity and what acceptance means to the wider autistic community.
Ceri Dobbing has both personal and professional experience of autism, most recently working in a managerial, leadership role and a support worker role with autistic adults. She is extremely passionate about supporting and empowering other autistic individuals and in getting the autistic voice out there, in the mainstream. She will be speaking about her experiences organising Cardiff Autistic Pride events and developing peer networks.
Monique Craine is an autistic advocate, wife and mother of three who has worked in many different types of employment throughout her life; from telesales and waitressing to elected local borough councillor and member of the Judiciary. Currently self-employed, Monique will speak on the topic of employment, the techniques she has used in order to perform the roles and the barriers she encountered.
Kat Williams was diagnosed as autistic with ADHD at the age of 32 Also, a parent to autistic children, Kat has provided peer support to families going through diagnosis and has advocated for both adults and children in benefit claims and meetings discussing additional learning needs, receiving an Understanding Disability award in 2018 for her work. Kat will be discussing how we can make education work for us.
Speakers will be discussing not just the government’s strategy but how autistic led organisations want to work with Welsh Government and Policy Makers to build greater understanding of the needs of the autistic community across the life span.
The Speakers will also be joined by the National Autism Team who will be launching a National Engagement and Participation Strategy
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