Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has pledged to launch an autism awareness campaign later this year.
Writing in Politics Home, Hancock said that he wants to launch an initiative to improve public perceptions of autism and ensure people understand and appreciate the situations autistic people may find challenging.
“As Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, I will make that happen later this year,” he said.
“The whole of society has a role to play in enabling autistic people to live healthy, independent lives and participate fully in their local communities. Many local businesses and services are already doing great work to promote autism inclusive communities,” Hancock continued.
Autism and learning disabilities are one of four clinical priority areas in the NHS Long Term Plan and through this the NHS is working to improve community support, backed by an extra £33.9 billion per year in government funding by 2024.
“I am passionate about building a more autism aware and inclusive society, one where autistic people and their families can go about their daily lives in their communities without fear of judgement,” the MP said.
“I am looking forward to making progress on this and hope that next year we can celebrate some real improvements in autism awareness in our country.”
The campaign will launch in the autumn, to coincide with a refreshed national autism strategy, which the government is currently reviewing, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said.