The All Party Group on Autism was set up in 2002 at the start of the political lobby for social and legislative change and policy reform for autism. The role of the APGA is to primarily act as an influencer on government policy for autism. 

This is a cross party group of MLAs which meet on a monthly basis to discuss key issues on autism. Since the APGA has been formed, they have made influential decisions to bring two pieces of legislation on autism to Northern Ireland and continue to work to ensure the implementation of the Autism (Amendment) Act 2022. The APGA Secretariat is provided by Autism NI.

Autism NI attends the APGA meetings and plays an active role in raising awareness of the key issues autistic people and their families are facing in Northern Ireland. We meet regularly with MLAs and civil servants and respond to consultations on policy work.

The role of the APGA is to:

  • Ensure the implementation of the Autism (Amendment) Act
  • Advocate for autism
  • Secure increased funding for autism services
  • Influence to ensure effective strategic, policy and planning systems for autism
  • Identify potential new funding sources for autism
  • Participate in the global Human Rights campaign for autism
  • Promote cross Atlantic sharing of autism expertise and research information.