National Autism Hotline realised through grant funding
Victorian autism peak body Amaze has received a grant to deliver a national autism information helpline.
The national helpline – Autism Connect – will provide independent, evidence-based information, resources and referral via telephone, email and web to support autistic people, their families and carers, health professionals, researchers, educators, employers and the broader community.
Amaze CEO Fiona Sharkie said the organisation was thrilled to be awarded the NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) National Information Program grant to deliver Autism Connect.
Autism is the largest disability group within the NDIS, and is a disability that is experienced differently by every individual. The need for personalised information and support is vital, Ms Sharkie noted.
“People who contact Amaze are seeking trustworthy information at critical times in their lives – Autism Connect is a free, expert and confidential one-stop service, offering independent and evidence-based information across all stages of life and a wide range of issues,” she added.
Ms Sharkie is hopeful that the helpline will assist Australians in understanding autism and the types of support services appropriate for their needs, so they can make empowered choices and stronger community connections.
The helpline will be delivered by advisors with autism-specific expertise across the whole span of life, from early intervention and assessment to education, employment and NDIS. The service will operate from 8am–7pm, Monday- Friday.
In conjunction with the national rollout of the hotline, new online resources will be developed and curated in partnership with Autism Awareness Australia.
The information service has been primarily serving Victorians for the last 10 years, and Ms Sharkie said the team looked forward to working with sector colleagues in other States and Territories to provide a nationally consistent service with local links and connections to autistic people and their families.
To access the Autism Advisor service, call 1300 308 699 between 8.00am and 7.00pm, Monday – Friday.