From June 2005 to May 2007, the Scottish Executive funded a project concerning the rising number of people diagnosed with autism and the provisions of services for autistic adults in the Highland region.
Simon Webster, Autism Development Officer employed for two years to carry out this survey did a thorough and excellent job consulting with a wide range of professionals, carers and most importantly with people on the autistic spectrum to find out about our needs and the existing (lack of) provision of services.
Initially a carers group was formed to enable the carers of autistic people to give their views/ opinions and to feed into the wider consultation.
After some persuasion from autistic adults themselves who felt that it was important that the views of autistic people were not heard only from a carer’s perspective it was agreed that an autistic adult’s consultation group would be formed.
For many of those attending the consultation group it was the first time that they’d had the opportunity to meet with and talk to other autistic adults. From the first time this small group met we decided that whatever happened we were determined to form our own group which would continue after the consultation had finished.In the professional sectors little promise has been made to act upon the final recommendations of the consultation and this is extremely disappointing. However we have achieved what we set out to do by forming our own group; the Adults Consultation Group has become an official advocacy organisation and was formally constituted on 1st May 2007 becoming Autism Rights Group Highland (ARGH). ARGH thanks Simon Webster for his help with the practicalities of forming the new group.
Since then, ARGH has worked closely with governments, other autistic persons organisations and other groups.
ARGH have run Autistic Pride events in Inverness since 2013. Covid-19 meant that there were no in-person events during 2020 and 2021. The next Autistic Pride event in Inverness will be on 17th June 2023 [link to blog page].
Since 2019, the Ness Bridge has been lit up in a spectrum of colours for Autism Acceptance Day on 2nd April to celebrate neurodiversity.