About autism

Autism legislation

Autism Act 2009

The Autism Act 2009 was the first ever disability-specific law in England.

The Act did two key things:

  • the first was to put a duty on the Government to produce a strategy for adults with autism, which was published in March 2010
  • the second was a duty on the Government to produce statutory guidance for local councils and local health bodies on implementing the adult autism strategy by the end of 2010. This guidance was published in December 2010

What is the adult autism strategy?

The adult autism strategy is the Government's plan to make sure that adults with autism get the help that they need. This might be things like help to get a job or help at home.

The adult autism strategy explains the different things that the Government will do to make sure adults  with autism get the help that they need. The strategy also tells local councils and health services how they can help people with autism.

The first ever strategy for adults with autism in England - entitled Fulfilling and rewarding lives, was published in 2010 with a commitment to review this strategy three years later.

In 2013, the Government asked for feedback from adults with autism, parents, carers and professionals about how well the 2010 strategy had been implemented so far.

The new strategy - Think Autism, was published in April 2014.

What is the Autism Act statutory guidance?

The statutory guidance has been published to ensure the implementation of the adult autism strategy. This guidance tells local authorities, NHS bodies and NHS Foundation Trusts what actions should be taken to meet the needs of people with autism living in their area.

The Government published a new statutory guidance in March 2015, which replaced an existing guidance from 2010.


More useful links


National Autistic Society Northern Ireland
Tel: 028 9068 7066
Email: northern.ireland@nas.org.uk
Website: http://www.autism.org.uk
National Autistic Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7833 2299
Email: nas@nas.org.uk
Website: http://www.nas.org.uk
Autism NI
Tel: 028 9040 1729
Email: info@autismni.org
Website: www.autismni.org
Autism Network NI
Tel: 028 92611851
Email: derek.dogherty9@btinternet.com
Website: www.autismnetworkni.org.uk
Tel: 028 9032 4882
Email: info@peatni.org
Website: www.peatni.org

Autism Initiatives
Tel: 028 9069 9130
Email: info@ai-ni.co.uk
Website: http://www.autisminitiatives.org/where-we-are/northern-ireland/

Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Trusts

Film clips on autism

Links to specific topics relating to Autism

Back to top