Minister’s foreword

Since it was released in December 2019, the Victorian autism plan has guided work across government to improve the lives of autistic people, including during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The refreshed plan will continue to help us make our community more inclusive for autistic Victorians.

The Victorian autism plan aligns with Inclusive Victoria: state disability plan 2022-2026, which is driving the broader disability inclusion agenda by transforming the way government works across six systemic reform areas. It builds on, and contributes to that transformation, with the goal of achieving better outcomes for all Victorians with disability, including autistic Victorians.

The first systemic reform in Inclusive Victoria is co-design with people with disability. This is with good reason. It honours the disability community’s call for ‘nothing about us without us’. For the Victorian autism plan, this means recognising and supporting the central role of the voice of autistic Victorians to drive change through autism advocacy and peer support.

The Autism Plan Advisory Group, who worked with the Victorian Government to develop this plan, told us about their key priorities for the refreshed plan. These are:

  • recognising the significant difference that access to early identification, intervention, and connection to the right supports makes to people’s lives
  • ensuring autistic Victorians do not miss out on health and mental health supports because of barriers to accessing them
  • the critical role of inclusive education and open employment opportunities
  • the need for better data and research.

The refreshed plan responds to these priorities, as well as renewing the other priorities that sit under the four pillars of Inclusive Victoria.

My thanks to all members of the Autism Plan Advisory Group, including the autistic members and leaders, for sharing their insight and experience and guiding this refresh.

The Hon Lizzie Blandthorn
Minister for Disability
Minister for Children