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Polish Parliament calls for a national autism strategy

On April 14th, 2021, both Chambers of the Polish Parliament passed unanimously a resolution to support and provide equal opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. The resolution addresses the need to develop and adopt an autism strategy, echoing Autism-Europe’s demand for the adoption of a holistic EU autism strategy that promotes the health and well-being of autistic people at all ages through a cross-sectoral approach, including in non-health public policy domains. 

On the picutre above, from left to right: Małgorzata Grobelna – JiM’s Advocacy Representative, Katarzyna Waliszek – parent, senator Krzysztof Kwiatkowski – Legislation Committee Chairman, Jakub Wiktor Waliszek – self-advocate.

The Parliament recognized that “the State shall provide decent living and working conditions for the people on the spectrum”; taking into consideration the needs of the over 1 million citizens, including people on the autism spectrum, their families and caregivers. To fulfil this obligation, the Parliament shall support all actions aimed at developing and implementing an autism strategy.

The Resolution contains a call for action to the Government aimed at creating a strategy for meeting the needs of people on the autism spectrum:

  • to break mental, organizational and financial barriers by developing the current support system for autistic people to implement their rights in all areas of life, taking into account the level of support they need,
  • to ensure a dignified and independent status for adults, with particular emphasis on providing inclusive education as well as inclusive and equal opportunities in the labor market.

The need for creating and implementing the strategy stems from the provisions included in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, United Nation’s Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and other acts of international and national law.

Autism-Europe’s member the JiM Foundation had been advocating for an autism strategy for the last 3 years’ in order to provide long-term solutions for improving the quality of life, particularly of autistic adults. Recognizing their advocacy efforts, which have contributed to passing the Resolution, the JiM Foundation’s representatives have been invited to the Parliament to witness this historic moment for the Polish autism community.