With more people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) accessing Disability Support Services (DSS), the Ministry of Health and Te Pou are committed to supporting and developing the disability workforce so that it has the capability, responsiveness and specialist skills to meet the needs of people with ASD and their families and whānau.
In 2016 Te Pou published a report by disability consultant Sharon Brandford which highlighted a number of pertinent issues facing the disability workforce supporting people on the autism spectrum. This report pointed to eligibility and service demand as two key pressure areas affecting current and future workforce needs. The report also highlighted the importance of the knowledge, skills, attitude and training of those who support people on the autism spectrum.
The report identifies barriers that prevent the uptake of learning and development as well as implementation of knowledge into practice. These issues have a significant impact on autistic people and their whanāu. Te Pou is committed to supporting DSS providers and individual employers to work through these barriers in order to best meet the needs of people with autism.