Sunday, November 15, 2009

Another ten minutes, another 9 years

Here is a companion piece to "ten minute roughcut" I made all of two years ago now.

This is also set around an NAS AGM. At the time of "Ten Minute Roughcut" I recall the board was just being introduced to the various top candidates for Chief Exec, of whom Mark Lever was chosen.

Well it is altogether 9 years since I went to my first NAS AGM, and I did not know what to expect from the organisation. It has changed, but I am not altogether happy with everything as will become apparant from the clip.

In reply to Socrates, later this week I am going to the launch of a new NAS branch in Coventry, a branch formed by autistic people, that was unconscionable 9 years ago. I have always refered to the NAS as a dinosaur for a very good reason, it takes a long time for anything to get from the head to the tail, and some branches are very much the dragging tail of the dinosaur when it comes to dealing with Autistic Adults. However I would like to think this new branch might end up shaking the beast from the tail end too.

Linking Socrates' concerns back to everyday life and experience, some branches of a big chain like the co-op give worse service than others, however the one cannot be responsible for the other, the structure is loose, and in one way what happens in branches is the responsibility of the branch not the body as a whole, although of course it is shamefull if the activity of one branch causes people to reflect badly on the whole.

We do have a great deal more parity in the organisation, gone are the days when the constitution effectively limited our numbers on the council because we were unequal members, however what people did not realise at the time, the restrictions against non parent members were created to keep professional influence at bay.

Well I feel the NAS is about to take a step backward in that respect, so far as allowing a potential professional advantage, which has already had the unexpected and probably unintended step of ending my tenure on the board.

Here are my usual hotel room ramblings and my question to the Chairman, posed the following day.

Judge for yourselves from the answer.


Socrates said...

You are a diamond, L.

The restrictions against non parent members were created to keep professional influence at bay

I have witnessed the transformation of the British Polio Fellowship over the last 40 years. And particularly the Coup, by the professionals, which lead to the ousting of member/administrators like my Mother.

A brief period of re-invigoration was followed by it slow and pathetic slide to the organisation it is today - ignored by its former members and staff - at a time in their lives when they need support all the more.

I was horrified to see the last time I visited their website, that they wondering at the dearth of members, and were trying to get in touch with old timers like my Mother, - unaware of the tremendous upheavals of the past.

It can't be co-incidence that you've raised the topic of the original founders - all weekend I've been pondering asking them, what they feel about the current state and future direct of the NAS.

The Council of Elders, of which I fear we are both heading for membership of, should always be sought in Times of Change.

The news of the Coventry branch is welcome and inspiring...

Stephanie Lynn Keil said...

Finally, a productive advocacy group, NOEWAIT.

I recommend everyone go visit the site, print out the documents and mail them to your congress people. I am definitely doing this. Today. I'm on the waiting list.

Do something productive.

Socrates said...

Aphorism of the Day:

The number of comments on a blog-post varies with the inverse square of its importance.

ps. Just found a beginner's Greek book in Oxfam - £1.50

Είμαι τόσο χαρούμενος!

r.b. said...

God bless Granny in the front row...she knows what's going on

Socrates said...

I have quoted you here.

ps please blog more. you are v good.

Socrates said...

wtf on stilts!

Guidance notes from the Government on the Autism Act:

28. These provisions will not apply to NHS foundation trusts. Although the Secretary of
State is required by section 2(1)(b) to issue guidance to NHS foundation trusts, they are not
covered by section 3(1).

29. This means that NHS foundation trusts will be expected to take the guidance into
account in planning and providing services for adults with autistic spectrum conditions, but
they will not have the same duty to act under it as local authorities and NHS bodies
definition of NHS bodies in section 4(1) does not include NHS foundation trusts). This
reflects the greater autonomy of NHS foundation trusts.

wtFLYINGf is going on?

You might as well publish the bill on Andrex and leave it in the loo Dysentery ward.

The author said...

Which is as good a reason as any to take autism out of the medical sphere altogether.

The reason so many people have come to rely on health services rather than local authority is that at least the health service is free at the point of contact, whereas Social services come very tied down.

The whole system got very blurred with the community care act, it was a bad thing on the whole, it managed to effectively scupper what good had been intended by the Chronically sick and disabled persons act of 1970. (if it had been fully implemented and improved upon)

Don't forget that the DDA and equality legislation still applies to the foundation trusts, where there's a will there's a lawyer :)