International, National and Local Reaction

Edyth Dunlop

Northern Ireland Union of Supported Employment

Congratulations Arlene – this would not have happened with out your leadership, will and determination.



Denise Fyfe

This is great news for everybody with Autism and their families!

Congratulations and thanks  to Arlene and everyone at Autism NI and also to David and PAL for all their commitment and hard work in getting this vital legislation through.

Thanks Denise

Marie Marin
Chief Executive Officer
Employers For Childcare Charitable Group

I watched you on TV last night and I just wanted to say congratulations from all the team at Employers For Childcare Charitable Group.  We’re delighted for you and recognise the hard work and determination involved in getting the legislation passed.  You should all be proud of your achievement, well done.

With best wishes


CEAT: Autism  Education and Training

Congratulations on an amazingly dedicated campaign by Autism NI. Your work will help generations of families and individuals with ASD.

Also, we love your new website, it is user friendly, excellent to navigate.

Kindest regards,

Kimmy and Mary



Well Done! A very good, much admired campaign.

Irene Sloan

Director of Care at Praxis


Brenda and Bap Kennedy

We were in meetings all day yesterday, only just got your message. Many congratulations on a great result, one that was hard won and will make a real difference. We are both really pleased.


Will be in touch soon when Bap’s plans settled. Have a great weekend and thanks to you and all at Autism NI for all your dedication and hard work.


Lee Grossman, CAE, President & CEO Autism Society (America) 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Congratulations on this marvellous achievement. Your efforts have been instrumental in making this happen.


We look forward to continuing to work with you and will provide assistance on our end with the Autism Coalition in Congress.


Prof David Sines, Exec Dean, Buckinghamshire University (Vice Pres Autism NI)

I am absolutely delighted. Such a personal achievement. I am so proud of you.

Currently in New York!


Wendy Lawson

Wow... thanks for letting me know :-) this is very good news indeed!!

Well done you all for not giving up and not giving in... 


Prof Rita Jordan (President of Autism NI)

Well done! I am very pleased for you; it is a tribute to your hard work and persistence!


Jeff Sell, VP, Public Policy & General Counsel, Autism Society of America
That is wonderful news! Congratulations


Pat Matthews, Irish Society for Autism

Congratulations to you and all involved in this historical advance for Autism in Northern Ireland.


This NI Autism Bill is a milestone which we will have to replicate everywhere. We now have to work harder to have legislation in the South.


I will circulate the NI Autism Bill to all concerned in Dail Eireann. 


Angus Cameron

Just wanted to send a quick word of congratulations to you all for the success of the campaign for legislation. I was absolutely thrilled when I heard the good news that it had become law.


Even though I have been living in England since last July I still watched with interest the progress of the campaign and how I wished to have been back home in the thick of it with you all. It goes to show that right is might although I don't suppose Messrs Maginnis and McGimpsey will eat any humble pie.

I do realise that in many ways that this is just the first stage of a long hard battle but be encouraged that the law is on our side now as we continue to fight for better provision for our children and our children’s children. We have the potential to be world leaders in ASD and may that be a reality in the months to come.


Alan Somerville, Scottish Autism

I've been out of circulation but belated congratulations from us too. I know how much you personally have sunk into this, so enjoy your triumph!


Joanne Templeton, Training and Information Officer, Autism Victoria

I just wanted to get in touch and send huge congratulations.  I believe the NI Autism Bill has been passed!  Well done to you and everyone who put all the time and effort into getting it there.  Murray Dawson the CEO here believes a single bill is the correct way to go and regrets that it did not happen here.


I continue to watch from afar how things are going there.  Keep in touch – you never know, we could work together again sometime!  All the best and best wishes to all at Autism NI.


 Mary (a parent)

Hopefully this piece of legislation removes that initial but major hurdle in making autism understood to our fellow citizens. This legal protection is invaluable and of great comfort autistic individuals and the people who care about and for them.

You can be truly proud of your achievements. Congratulations.


Paul Finnegan

Well done on Tuesday - you spoke brilliantly on TV.  Great to see the dream turning into reality :) Hope all is good with you, talk real soon.


Adam Feinstein, author, parent, legend!

Yes indeed - many congratulations to Arlene and her colleagues on this superb achievement!

Hugh  Morgan OBE, CEO Autism Cymru

Dear All – and perhaps we should all stand up and applaud Arlene and her colleagues on their magnificent achievement (but especially Arlene who I suspect has been through hell and back over the past few years!).


Lorraine Carrothers


Fantastic news about the Autism Bill going through today!!!


P... (parent)

Momentous day - hats off to all who pursued this! Amazing news! Many, many congratulations to David and Co! We owe them all! Just emailed the news and one of David's links to my son's V.P. It's surprising how many aren't aware of it!


Nicola Scullion

Yayyy!!! Huge thank you to all involved :D


Deborah Fulton

gr8 news


Caroline Campbell

Well done brilliant!!!


Lisa Ruddy

A day to remember - today the Autism Bill (NI) was passed at the NI Assembly...from today in Northern Ireland this bill will ensure autism receives equality with other disabilities at last.

Thank you David.


Arlene Foster MLA, Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Is just so pleased she was able to be in the chamber when the bill passed its final stage!


Sharon Gervin

Great news well done to all involved!


Alana McDonnell

Great news! Well done everyone!!


Lyn (parent)

To be honest...the tears are dripping down my face right now as I type so please pardon the is very special day when our voices were recognised ....I cannot thank you all for the hard work, you as a group, representing those of us who fell through the cracks as we did not meet the criteria laid out for access to services, finally have a voice in legislation....we are indebted to you.. God bless and celebrate with pride X


Diane O'Brien

On behalf of my autistic angel and myself, a very proud parent... I thank all those concerned for this momentous, well deserved and long fought victory. Here’s to the future...


Johanna McPhillips

Well done everyone.


Tracey Quinn

Fantastic news.....A huge Thank you to all!!! :)


Sharon Ramsey

A big thank you to Michael McGimpsey for not bothering to turn up!


Adeline Lansdell

A brilliant day, fantastic. x


Linda Sharkey

Well done xxx


Susan Stewart McCartney

Oh what a day... for my son and the Autism Community, and those yet to be born, the Autism Bill has been passed by the Northern Ireland Executive...finally these very special people will get the JUSTICE they deserve...thanks to everyone who helped make this possible..


John Bailie

A big thank you to all the MLAs who voted for this now we need proper schools built to give our kids the special education they need


Tony Bannon

All credit to David, Liz, Arlene and all at Autism N.I. Special thanks to John Fee (R.I.P.), Eileen Bell, and all the other Autism ambassadors who were involved at the inception(or should that be conception ) of this Bill. Mo mhorbhuiochas do Dominic Bradley , the members of the All Party Autism Group and all who made a positive contribution to the Bill being passed today and to all the eloquent members of our Autism community whose methods of communication are not the same as ours but who enrich our lives daily and for whom this has been done.


Paula O'Brien

Well done everyone - a great achievement and hopefully will bring about some positive changes for everyone effected by autism.


Basil McCrea MLA

Lots of congratulations for David Heatley on passing of Autism Bill. Looking forward to seeing how it makes a difference on the ground.


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