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About the Victorian autism plan

This plan aims to address key issues identified by the inquiry through a coordinated, whole-of-government strategy implemented over five years.

The plan focuses on outcomes in people's daily lives. These outcomes are grouped under an outcomes framework that includes the following domains.

  • Inclusive communities. This includes building positive and informed attitudes about autistic people; increasing people's opportunity to be mobile and independent; and building the capacity of mainstream workforces to serve autistic people.
  • Health, housing and wellbeing. This includes increasing people's health and wellbeing through access to timely assessment and diagnosis; health and mental health services; services and supports delivered under the NDIS and through mainstream services; and suitable housing.
  • Fairness and safety. This includes supporting the personal safety of autistic people; meeting the needs of autistic people in the justice and corrections systems; and meeting the needs of autistic people who face additional barriers to inclusion and accessing services.
  • Contributing lives. This includes strengthening inclusive education for autistic students; removing barriers to employment; and actions to support the voice and leadership of autistic people.

The plan sets out actions that will contribute to these outcomes including steps the Victorian Government will take to improve NDIS outcomes. Some of these actions have already been undertaken as part of a set of early initiatives to support this plan.

The plan also outlines a process for developing an initial set of outcomes indicators and measures. These will help us measure and assess how our work is contributing to the intended outcomes.

A central commitment of the plan is a public education campaign that will inform the Victorian community about the experiences and support needs of autistic people. More informed and helpful attitudes are foundational for all other commitments in this plan.

Without timely assessment and diagnosis autistic people have little access to affordable services and supports that can in turn lead to greater opportunities and more independence. Accordingly, the plan sets out the ongoing work that we will need to do to make best practice assessment diagnosis more accessible and affordable. The plan also sets out actions to build the skills of clinical mental health services, specialist health clinics and maternal and child health nurses to undertake early identification.

Autism frequently intersects with other identities, health conditions and disabilities. The plan recognises that intersectionality can place additional barriers in the way of autistic people enjoying their daily lives. It establishes processes to allow these additional layers of diversity and complexity to be reflected in the implementation of the commitments listed here, as well as future government policy.

Recent research by Amaze found that autistic people often have negative experiences of schooling and poorer educational outcomes than their peers.1 For this reason, the forthcoming Autism education strategy will complement this plan. The strategy will describe the government's comprehensive and joined-up approach to meeting the educational needs and aspirations of autistic students in Victorian government schools, including their transition to and from school.

The plan sets out actions that will increase employment and leadership opportunities. However, it is acknowledged that long-term and large-scale change is needed to mitigate the extremely low engagement of autistic people in high-quality jobs that can become career paths.
While the plan's primary focus is responding to the recommendations of the parliamentary inquiry, there are a number of critical issues affecting autistic Victorians that are not addressed by the plan, including family violence and sexual safety. The Victorian Government is committed to reducing the risk, occurrence and impact of family violence for people with disability through its family violence reform agenda.

The final part of this document outlines how we will monitor our progress against our commitments. It describes how we will report publicly on progress against both the recommendations of the inquiry and the outcomes domains. It also sets out a process for a midway refresh of the plan, allowing us to assess which commitments need to continue, which commitments can be closed off, and where there is a need for developing additional commitments.


[1] See the Amaze website