April 2- World Autism Awareness Day

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We need to ensure that the rights, perspectives, and well-being of persons with disabilities, including those with autism, are an integral part of building forward better from the pandemic.  

António Guterres


Throughout its history, the United Nations family has celebrated diversity and promoted the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities, including learning differences and developmental disabilities. In 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities entered into force, reaffirming the fundamental principle of universal human rights for all. Its purpose is to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities and promote respect for their inherent dignity. It is a vital tool to foster an inclusive and caring society for all and ensure that all children and adults with autism can lead full and meaningful lives.

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that manifests during early childhood, irrespective of gender, race, or socio-economic status. 

The term Autism Spectrum refers to a range of characteristics. Appropriate support, accommodation, and acceptance of this neurological variation allow those on the Spectrum to enjoy equal opportunity and full and effective participation in society.

Autism is mainly characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications, and particular ways of processing sensory information.

The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high, and the lack of understanding has a tremendous impact on individuals, their families, and communities.

The stigmatization and discrimination associated with neurological differences remain substantial obstacles to diagnosis and therapies, an issue that both public policy-makers must address in developing nations and donor countries.

Related Observances

The 2022 World Autism Awareness Day observance

This year‘s observance will address inclusive education in the context of SDG 4 – the promise and reality – through a virtual event that will include a moderated panel discussion and brief presentations by self-advocates, educators, and other experts.

The theme of inclusive education is intrinsically linked with the focus of last year’s WAAD observance, “Inclusion in the Workplace.” 

Panelists in last year’s event emphasized how crucial it is to foster inclusive quality education for people on the autism spectrum so that they can fulfill their potential and achieve sustainable success in the labor market. In this respect, inclusive education is the key to the transformative promise of the Sustainable Development Goals, to LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND.

The event is organized by the UN Department of Global Communications and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, with the support of civil society partners, including the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Global Autism Project, and the Specialisterne Foundation.

Inclusive Quality Education for All

Virtual Event: Friday, 8 April 2022, 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. EST

Please register here