Liberal Democrat Crompton Councillor Louie Hamblett who Chairs the Autism Way Forward board at Oldham Council has recently written to Transport for Greater Manchester and Mayor Andy Burnham regarding ongoing saga that residents of Oldham and Greater Manchester who have autism with or without a Learning Disability is not currently accepted by their criteria application forms.
Councillor Hamblett said: “With Autism Acceptance week coming up at the end of March it is really important that all the work around supporting people with Autism to get to work and to places they need to be should happen to give them every equal opportunity as everyone else.”
The current criteria for passes are very rigidly set and leans heavily towards those who have physical impairments or have been refused a driving license not those with learning difficulties and Autism or Autism without a learning difficulty.
Cllr Hamblett, who is also the only fully diagnosed autistic councillor on Oldham Council and has other learning difficulties, also added: “People with learning difficulties and sensory needs already get a raw deal in life as it is and I know how it is to be treated as second class, if we want to improve things for people into getting to work, the cost of living and using public transport to helping reduce our carbon footprint then this would be a massive way to help residents in GM and Oldham.
“This is about members who bring up the same issue day in day out. We just want Burnham to give people with autism and learning disabilities get a fair deal in Greater Manchester and every assistance possible so they too can get from A to B. I look forward to hearing back from both Transport for Greater Manchester and Mayor Burnham on this in issue.”
TfGM currently do not have autism as a criteria to their Learning Disability form and it would also require local authorities to sign for each applicant also.
Autism Acceptance week starts March 27th and ends April 2nd.