This funding is designed to support existing projects and includes £880,000 to maintain local ASD leads and action plans in each of the 22 local authority areas.
The funding will continue Welsh Government support to the Social Services Improvement Agency, which funds a full-time national autism co-coordinator to run the Learning and Improvement Network (LIN).
The Deputy Minister also confirmed the extension of the Wales ASD Employment Ambassador’s contract for a further 12 months, until March 2013. Robert Lloyd Griffiths has been in the role since August 2010, creating links with businesses to increase awareness and opportunities for people with autism – the first role of its kind in the UK.
The Welsh Government’s expert adviser on autism, Hugh Morgan OBE will also be retained this year to offer guidance on the progression of the ASD Strategic Action Plan.
Ministers have agreed to a public consultation later this year on how the Welsh Government’s ASD Action Plan should be taken forward up to 2015. Three consultation events will give people with autism, their families and carers an opportunity to say what is important to them and what can make a real difference to their lives.
The Deputy Minister said:
“This funding shows our continuing commitment to work with people with autism, to improve their lives and life chances. We will continue to work together with local authorities and other organisations, particularly those engaged directly with people with autism and their families to achieve this.
“When the action plan was launched in 2008, it was considered to be a world first. I look forward to hearing people’s views on the course we take in the future, to keep Wales at the forefront of this agenda.”