Autism NI has developed many layers of activity in the years since the first parents and professionals from all over Northern Ireland met for support and to share information in a room in an adult centre in Lisburn in the late 1980s. There have been many milestones in our campaign to raise the profile of Autism since the day we acquired our first office space - an attic office above
a cafe on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.
Perhaps the most daunting recognition of this Charity’s profound significance in the history of the Autism movement in Northern Ireland came in the form of the following Early Day Motions at Westminster which have been supported by Parliamentarians across the House. This achievement enables Autism NI to represent the Northern Ireland Autism community more effectively at Westminster and in Europe.
What is an Early Day Motion?
Early Day Motion (EDM) is a colloquial term for a notice of motion given by a Member for which no date has been fixed for debate. EDMs exist to allow Members to put on record their opinion on a subject and canvass support for it from fellow Members. In effect, the primary function of an EDM is to form a kind of petition that MPs can sign.
The tabling of an EDM is a device to draw attention to an issue and to elicit support for it by inviting other MPs to add their signatures: an MP would not expect their EDM to be debated. MPs can also table amendments to existing EDMs.
EDMs, amendments and names of signatories are circulated in the Vote Bundle, the daily working papers of the House of Commons. EDMs can often attract a great deal of publicity, and many people regard them as a gauge of opinion.