Please note due to the current Coronavirus crisis across the UK Autonomy Plus will be adapting the way we work. Our group training sessions are not being run present but Sara is still offering pre-diagnostic assessments and is following Government and NHS advice on hygiene and social distancing, and also by the use of phone, email, text and Skype.

Sara can still support you with PIP, new style ESA, UC applications but all Face-to-Face benefit assessments have been cancelled till June, She can also provide expert evidence via email and help you with Mandatory Reconsideration reports as DWP say that there will be more paper based and phone assessments. Autonomy Plus is aware that access to benefits still remains an issue for many autistic people due to a lack of understanding, and a lack of specialist evidence, of their needs.

Data Protection Policy

There are six important parts of the General Data Protection Regulations 2018, The six are: consent, contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task and legitimate interests.

Autonomy Plus features in many online directories, our website and in Philip Wylie’s book Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome/ASD, How Gaining a Diagnosis can Change your Life. (2014). You will have contacted us directly first by phone, email or messaging; we do not directly contact clients first or market products to them.

The information Autonomy Plus holds about you is for legitimate interests and with your consent:

  • We use your email address and home phone or mobile phone to correspond with you.
  • We use your name and home address and information about your disabilities in letters and written correspondence with you, and you give this information with explicit consent for the report or letter.
  • We use your your name and home address, date of birth, and information about your disabilities in letters and written correspondence to your GP or other professionals, or to the courts to ensure you are not confused with another patient/defendant/respondent.
  • We use your your name and home address, date of birth, NI number, appointee’s or carer’s name and addresse and information about your disabilities and benefits you receive in letters and written correspondence to the DWP, Capita, Maximus, Disability Assessments Ltd and Tribunals.
  • We use your name, student number, date of birth and signature when working with you as a student mentor and in correspondence with the contract from Student Finance including time sheets.
  • Autonomy Plus holds this information for legitimate reasons, and with your consent. We hold a copy of the same letter that is sent to you, in digital format, for as long as required, and often for legal or medical reasons; you may have a copy of it at any time.

The reason for Autonomy Plus to hold the information legitimate interests and with your consent:
Autonomy Plus is contacted by clients first and we are given the information for specific reasons – to facilitate a diagnosis of ASD, to support a DWP benefit application and/or Mandatory Reconsideration Appeal, or a Tribunal or to work with you or to advocate on behalf of you.

The information is vital for our work to be done and allows us:

  • to write reports and to provide specialist evidence about the issues faced by you and to support your diagnosis. This information is only sent to you, your appointee with explicit permission, your GP with explicit permission, and a private psychiatrist, also with explicit permission
  • to advocate for you eg utility companies, debt companies, or complaint letters or contacting the Ombudsmen, when you have already sent explicit permission for us to do so.
  • to liaise with you, your carers, parents and practitioners on behalf of you– and with your consent
  • or used to reply to you for specific reasons.

Autonomy Plus shall take reasonable steps to ensure personal data is kept secure:

  • The information is kept secure on an encrypted laptop.
  • The reports are emailed from a secure email server, password protected, if asked for, or posted to the clients or the DWP, GP etc and there are no paper copies of this information.
  • Any personal information (see above) about you will only be shared with your explicit permission.

Autonomy Plus shall take reasonable steps to ensure personal data is accurate:

  • You are given copies of the letters/reports and are offered the opportunity to check that they are accurate and for us to correct them as necessary.
  • Corrected reports are then sent to the you with copies to clinicians, DWP, Tribunals etc with your permission.

Archiving policy

  • To ensure that personal data is kept for no longer than necessary, letters and reports with personal information will be kept, with your permission for as long as you wish us to do so.
  • You will be made aware of this and the reports will be archived as many of our clients, due to having Asperger’s, struggle to keep essential documents and wish to have copies of the pre-diagnostic reports or benefits reports sent to them or on their behalf many years after our first involvement especially for benefit reviews or reapplications.