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The Western Adult Autism Advice Service

Published: Mon, 19 Oct 2015
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Pictured are members of the: WAAAS Multi-agency group which includes the Housing Executive
WAAAS launch
From October 2015, a new service will be available to people aged 16 years and over with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).
This service is available in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) area.
The Western Adult Autism Advice Service (WAAAS) will provide advice, information and support for people with ASC and their carers. This WAAAS aims to provide those with ASC and their carers the opportunity to meet with a range of organisations and expert advisors under one roof to aid access to these services.
WAAAS is a drop in service (no appointment required) and will be provided in four venues across the Western Trust between 1.30pm—4.30pm over the coming months:
  • Thursday 1 October - Derry, Central Library
  • Thursday 3 December - Omagh Library
  • Thursday 3 March - Strabane Library
  • Wednesday 1 June - Enniskillen Library
This multi-agency partnership initiative includes input from the Careers Service Northern Ireland, The Cedar Foundation, the Disability Employment Service, the Educational Authority (Western Region), Libraries NI, the Housing Executive, local Regional Colleges, the Social Security Agency and Western Trust. Expert advisors from each key organisation recently met to finalise planning for this new service.
Marie O’Kane, a parent who attended the event, said:
“In principle this is a great service and it is important to reach as wide an audience as possible including adults with ASD who are very socially isolated.”
The Western Trust commissioned the Cedar Foundation to deliver this service. It is an example of a lead initiative emerging from the Northern Ireland Executive’s Cross Departmental Autism Strategy (2013-2020) and the Northern Ireland Adult Autism Care Pathway (2013).
Dr Tom McCarthy, Lead Clinical Psychologist from the Western Trust Adult ASD service said
“This is an innovative development aiming to aid adults with ASC and their carers to access vital services. Services can be difficult to negotiate and for those with ASC these difficulties can be amplified due to Autism and can lead to de-facto exclusion from services. This project aims to provide ease of access and individual support to reduce such exclusion.”
For further information on this new service please contact The Right Project Officer on 028 7136 0136.