Teresa Catto-Smith
Teresa Catto-Smith campaign leader

Please Act NOW For Autism and Email your MP TONIGHT!

Please Act NOW For Autism And Email Your MP! (http://autismcampaigners.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/please-act-now-for-autism-and-email.html)

We are asking all supporters to email their MP's ahead of the
Atos Debate in the Main Chamber at Parliament this Thursday (http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2013/01/atos-debate-in-the-house-now-fixed-for-thursday-17-january/). We have written a sample
letter below, which you can copy and paste into an email and then personalise
with your own story if you have an Atos experience. 

You can contact your
MP via the WriteToThem website (http://www.writetothem.com/): http://www.writetothem.com/

" Dear <insert MP name>

MPs are being given the opportunity to debate the Atos Work Capability
Assessment in the Main Chamber on Thursday 17th January. I support the
Act Now for Autism Campaign (www.actnowforautism.co.uk) and along with them I ask you to attend this
debate. Please add your voice to the growing concerns of the autism
community about the WCA.

Main Concerns: 

The Work Capability Assessment is not 'fit for purpose' as a method
of assessing whether autistic adults are fit for work. Neither does it
identify those who may be able to work but would need a lot of support
to do so.

It would seem Clauses 3, 4 and 5 of section 20 of the Equality Act are being contravened. Reasonable adjustments are not being made and adults with
autism are being placed at a significant disadvantage to other people,
even compared to other disabilities and at present no steps are being taken
to avoid the disadvantage. 

Despite autism being a communication disability, autistic adults are not being offered an
advocate to act as an auxiliary aid. 

Part B10 of the Equalities Act is also being ignored
and is being breached during the assessment process, as the effects
of the environment in which the assessment is being carried out is not
being taken into consideration. Adults are becoming so
anxious by the process that it is seriously impacting on their ability
to function effectively on a daily basis. 

Volunteer advocates within the autism community, who are living with
autism themselves, are having to guide adults with autism through
every step of the process, and have found that they cannot keep up with
the demand for their support. They often report they are then not
allowed to speak during the assessment by Atos heathcare professionals. Therefore, autistic adults are not being given the (equal) opportunity
to communicate effectively and neither are they then assessed fairly.

Act Now For Autism is campaigning for advocates to be offered to
every adult with autism at the first point of contact by the DWP, and for
separate autism-specific descriptors. Please see their Harrington
3rd Year Review evidence for more information:

I really hope you do speak up for the autistic adults in your
constituency, who are so often failed by
statutory services from the time they leave children's services and now also feel they are being classed as
'scroungers'. Please attend and speak up for them.

Yours faithfully

<insert your name> "

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