Re ATOS & autism / Asperger / autistic spectrum conditions awareness

P. Smith made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

How do you ensure that ATOS are autism / Asperger / autistic spectrum condition aware?
What autism awareness training do ATOS receive? What form does this take? How often is this rolled out? Who provides this?

What autism / Asperger / autism spectrum conditions awareness training do the Dept for Work & Pensions staff receive, from minister / decision-maker level staff downwards / outwards?

What form does this training take?

How often is such training rolled out?

Who provides the training?

If not, how else does your department try to ensure that those with autism are treated with understanding, dignity and support, and that government decisions do not negatively impact them?

Currently the coalition government's uninformed policies and decisions have had an extremely negative, punishing and shocking impact on this vulnerable section of society.

Thank you,

Yours faithfully,

[P. Smith]

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DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Pat

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Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

[P. Smith]

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

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Department who will respond to you direct. 

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jimmy3 left an annotation ()

VERY interesting that the DWP state "The National Autistic Society (NAS) were used, as a well-known and
established source of expertise in the field, on invitation by DWP to quality assure the training
materials prior to receiving DWP approval."

When Mark Lever, the chief executive of The National Autistic Society (NAS) RECENTLY STATED:

“We’ve had serious concerns about the fairness of the ESA process for assessing people with autism for some time. Autism is a hidden disability and the way it impacts upon a person may not be immediately obvious to someone who does not understand the condition. Due to its complexities, it’s essential that those
conducting assessments receive specific training in the disability so they can make fair and accurate judgements.

"We would also question whether frequent benefit reviews is the best use of public money for people with life-long conditions like autism that aren't going to change.

“Repeat assessments can cause significant anxiety for people with autism and can consequently mean they develop additional mental health problems. At a time when the Government is trying to cut the deficit, its efforts should be directed at making sure that welfare
decisions get it right the first time, saving money to the public purse in the long-run.”

jimmy3 left an annotation ()

People viewing this FoI request may be interested in this one too as it involves the National Autistic Society and the WCA (the NAS are far from happy with the DWP)

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...