Section 5: Know how to support individuals to access services and facilities

Q16: Identify the support an individual may need to access: (5.1)
a) Healthcare
The individual will need to be aware of their own health needs which can be created through a health plan. Reinforcing a healthy and active lifestyle is important for the individual to grow in independence and confidence, and this then allows care workers to use their knowledge and skills to better help the individual such as helping to arrange travel, extra support and such.

b) Education and training
Access to education will largely depend on the individuals’ age. If the individual is under 25, their care worker will work closely with educators to ensure they understand the needs and behaviour of the individual. This may mean the care worker will gain attendance in meetings and be able to read person-centred profiles and support plans. The care worker will need to be available to discuss necessary information with the individual and the education organisation to ensure they are developing and there are no problems.

c) Leisure services
Those with autism may become overwhelmed with leisure centres due to the vast options available. The individual may find it difficult to understand certain activities and when they can and cannot take place. Supporting the individual with the choice of leisure centre is something the care workers can support with which can also develop confidence and independence skills. Helping the individual to find more leisure services and supporting them within the session can help them become more comfortable with the service.

Q17: Outline the rights of individuals with autism in relation to accessing services and facilities. (5.2)
There is government legislation that enables individuals with autism to access equal access to services and facilities, which includes the Equality Act 2010 which supports the individual receiving ‘reasonable adjustments for their additional needs so they can access facilities equally. As well as this, it is illegal to pay a different wage or prohibit the use of facilities or services to an individual based on their disability, race, gender or religion. The Autism Act 2009 supports the improvement of the support
provided by the NHS towards those with autism and helps to diagnose and integrate individuals with autism into the community. The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced the Education, Health and Care Plan to help with additional needs and give support, advice and guidance to help with this. The Care Act 2014, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 also push for the access of services and facilities fairly and equally.

Q18: Give examples of reasonable adjustments that could be made for individuals with autism. (5.3)
With the Equality Act 2010 giving the right to enable ‘reasonable adjustments’ for those with additional needs, including autism, we can give examples of how this can be done to ensure all individuals are able to access the goods and services provided, and be able to work in the environment. For example, opening up a swimming pool or cinema specifically for those with autism provides a quieter atmosphere that allows the individual to feel comfortable, or allows time for the individual to have their lunch during a much quieter time in the canteen, or allows them to work slower than others and having comfort breaks to support their sensory needs.

Q19: Outline the support available for individuals and families from rights groups and community support organisations. (5.4)
The National Autistic Society is the largest national organisation that campaigns for the rights and well-being of those with autism. They offer advice and information for autistic adults and their families as well as student support services for autistic students in both further and higher education. They also create and provide training materials and resources for professionals to support the work environment and widen the awareness. The Autism Initiatives work to provide care and support based on ‘Good Autism Practice’ which involves a specialist therapist in Speech and Language, a nurse with a specialism in autism, a consultant Occupational Therapist, a Positive Intervention Co-ordinator and an Autism Practice Advisor all who work hard and provide support and guidance for those with autism and those supporting individuals with autism. The Association For Real Change campaigns to raise awareness of ‘Mate Crime’ and protecting the vulnerability of those with autism and offers services including training and qualifications for professionals, publications and assessments of individual needs.