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Reaping the Rewards of the Autism Dividend

by Incisive Health for National Autism Project

Summary of work

A lack of robust research into autism interventions meant that autistic people and their families have to make choices about support based on weak or non-existent evidence.

To challenge this, the three-year National Autism Project was established, tasked with building a collaborative network of autistic and non-autistic people to examine the evidence base and demand reform.

The project, including through its influential Autistic Advisory Panel, worked in partnership with over 50 individuals and organisations across the UK. It held workshops in all four nations, partnered with established charities and convened a collaborative Funder’s Forum.

Together they produced and launched a powerful report exposing the gaps in evidence, engaged with policymakers, and challenged funders to invest more in applied research to benefit autistic people’s lives.

It has also led to the establishment of the National Autistic Taskforce, the first project of its kind in the UK: a well-funded, independent and – critically – fully autistic-led group to continue and evolve NAP’s work.

Judges' comments

This project demonstrated the clear impact of communications – changing the research agenda and informing policy. It had clear objectives linked into the strategy and tactics and had a large number of stakeholders effectively working together.


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Key dates

Entry deadline 5 March 2020
Extended entry deadline 12 March 2020
Judging day 1 7 May 2020
Judging day 2 21 May 2020
Awards Ceremony 2 July 2020

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