A selection of recent news stories around disabilities

The Autism Act 10-year renewal – Have your say!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Autism Act in England and the National Autism Society is working with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA) to find out more about the state of care and support for autistic children and adults across the UK.

The Autism Act says the Government has to review its autism policy from time to time. This is happening this year, giving us a vital opportunity to uncover what has and has not changed over the last decade and to campaign for further improvements to support for autistic people. The NAS wants as many autistic people and families to engage in this survey to help us tell Government what needs to change.

You can have your say on their survey, closing date 10pm, Sunday 7 April 2019.


Link between debt and OCD

A link has been shown to exist between the levels of debt a person has, and whether they have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  OCD sufferers are six times more likely to have serious money issues than people without a mental health problem – 29%, against 6% of the population.   Around 25% of people with bipolar disorder  and depression are likely to have debt issues, and in all, people with mental health issues are three and a half times more likely to be in problem debt than people without mental health problems.

Nearly half (46 per cent) of all people in problem debt are also experiencing a mental health problem, and analysis suggested that symptoms of depression, such as low moods and poor concentration, could affect people’s ability to manage their finances.

For more info, see the Independent website, and for the full report, see the Money and Mental Health  charity.


No minister for Disabled People until Brexit mess sorted out

The Conservative Vice Chairman, James Cleverly, has stated that there will be no minister appointed for disabled people until Brexit has been sorted out, with no-one filling the vacancy left by Sarah Newton’s resignation on 13 March.  This is in case any more ministers resign over the way that Brexit is being handled. Sarah Newton remains the MP for Truro and Falmouth.

The Independent had a news story on this, and there is concern that the vacancy will cause significant problems for the people whom they are meant to be representing.


Older childless people ‘dangerously unsupported’

More than 1 million people aged over 65 without children are “dangerously unsupported”, and at acute risk of isolation, loneliness, poor health, poverty and being unable to access formal care, according to a report. The charity Ageing Well Without Children (AWwoC) commissioned the report, and wishes to draw attention to this disadvantaged minority group which is seldom mentioned or given additional support.  The report’s author says that  individuals ageing without children have worse health, worse health behaviours and higher mortality rates than parents. Those who are not childless through choice have higher levels of depression and anxiety as they age.

See the article in the Guardian. and the full report on the AWwoC website.