Autistic people, their families and carers in Harborough are being encouraged to share their experiences of being diagnosed with the condition by Leicestershire County Council.
The Every Voice Counts initiative is asking residents to share their personal experience of health and social care services from the day of their diagnosis through to their ongoing support.
Their experiences will help to improve the care which autistic people receive in the county as well as in Leicester, said the council.
To gather people’s views, the county and city councils are hosting virtual focus groups and one-to-one discussions throughout June, with the sessions chaired by an autistic person.
Cllr Christine Radford, the county council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “This new project seeks to break down the barriers and boundaries which may exist between professionals, communities and the people who use our services and their carers so that we can work together better and create really positive changes to the services we offer.
“The project will provide a platform for autistic people and their families and carers to share their experiences and be at the heart of making sure the right services and support are available for everyone in Leicester and Leicestershire in the future.”
There are other ways to get involved, such as by sharing artwork, poems, or short stories.
Cllr Sarah Russell, Leicester’s deputy city mayor for social care and anti-poverty, said: “We want the Every Voice Counts project to become a catalyst for real and meaningful engagement with autistic people who use our services.
“It’s really important that they, their families and their carers have their voices heard.”
She added: “We want to involve as many people as we can in this to make sure we all learn from the experiences of autistic people when they access health, education, housing, leisure, and social care services.
“People can share their experiences with us so that we can feed back to other specialist groups.”
If you would like to get involved or sign up to a discussion group, contact autism officer Ester Vickers on 0116 454 4243 or email [email protected]