The Norfolk Autism Partnership Board Working Groups oversee the implementation of the plans set out by the Board. These groups are inclusive and involve autistic people, parents and carers and experts by experience. Every member of the group has a defined role, with responsibility and ownership to explore all solutions to problems.
There are currently five working groups. Four active groups meet approximately every month these are the Engagement with People, Diagnosis Pathways and Workforce Development. The groups report into the Board on a quarterly basis.
If you are interested in joining the Board or a working group please go to How to get Involved.
Updates from the Working Groups
Diagnosis Working Group lead reports that the group has supported creation of transparent and up-to-date autism pathways on the Partnership Website, Knowledge Anglia and Norfolk Community Health and Care websites; investigated accessible waiting rooms and waiting room policy; described what needs to be included in an appointment letter for autistic people; monitored progress on autism diagnosis waiting times and contributed to understanding of a Demand Avoidance Profile. A key priority for the next year will be increasing number of autistic people or parent/carers in working group, with goal of at least five members
Engagment with People
Engagement Working Group lead reports that independent website continues to grow and succeed, Since January 2021, 6737 unique visitors have viewed the website 11,541 times. Issues with the newsletter sign-up system have been corrected, and an additional 62 members have been added to the mailing list since the last update. The second of the new series of Autism Norfolk Forums (ANF) was held successfully online 11/01/21. Feedback from members of the public generated by the Forum submitted to the Board as a verbal update. Following discussion, decision made to set up a more formal post-Forum meeting to go through attendee feedback. Based on feedback, the next Forum will be focussed on Personal Independent Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Welfare Rights and related issues.
Workforce Development Working Group lead reports that the group continues to update the eLearning and in-person training in response to feedback. The UEA is currently going through these changes. The pandemic response has made delivering training more difficult, but progress is being made and is expected to be substantial in the next year. Five organisations have been trained in the Understanding Autism course so they can deliver it internally to their staff. Two further organisations are planning to be trained in the course next year. The Group intends to develop a quiz to check training attendees learning.
The Employment Working Group is still in its earliest stages. The lead reports that the group is positive about the work it is doing. Following discussion with people with autism in the community, the Group intends to focus on compiling knowledge and resources on Employment into one place and finding a large employer to work with as an “Autism Champion”.