April is Autism Awareness Month
This year’s World Autism Awareness Day is a chance to celebrate the
creative minds of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and to renew
our pledge to help them realize their great potential.
I treasure my meetings with individuals affected by autism –
parents, children, teachers and friends. Their strength is inspiring.
They deserve all possible opportunities for education, employment and
To measure the success of our societies, we should examine how well
those with different abilities, including persons with autism, are
integrated as full and valued members.
Education and employment are key. Schools connect children to their
communities. Jobs connect adults to their societies. Persons with
autism deserve to walk the same path. By including children with
different learning abilities in mainstream and specialized schools, we
can change attitudes and promote respect. By creating suitable jobs
for adults with autism, we integrate them into society.
At this time of economic constraint, governments should continue to
invest in services that benefit persons with autism. When we empower
them, we benefit current and future generations.
Tragically, in many parts of the world, these individuals are denied
their fundamental human rights. They battle discrimination and
exclusion. Even in places where their rights are secured, too often
they still have to fight for basic services.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities provides a strong framework for action to create a better
world for all.
World Autism Awareness Day is about more than generating
understanding; it is a call to action. I urge all concerned to take
part in fostering progress by supporting education programmes,
employment opportunities and other measures that help realize our shared
vision of a more inclusive world.
Last Modified on 02 Apr 2014