Today April 2nd, 2014 is World Autism Awareness Day. The United Nations General Assembly highlighted this day in 2008 to celebrate the creative minds of children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. It serves to remind us that we need to create more opportunities for education, employment, and integration into society for autistics. Dr. Joshua Weinstein, CEO & Founder of ICare4Autism explains, “We have entered a new age of autism, characterized on the one hand by unprecedented incidence, and on the other by advanced research, earlier diagnosis, and progressively more effective intervention. The evidence is clear—autism and hope are no longer mutually exclusive, but the need for action has never been more urgent.”
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon also commented on the meaning of today saying, “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 programs, employment opportunities, and other measures that help realize our shared vision of a more inclusive world.”
And we at Shema Kolainu and ICare4Autism couldn’t agree more. Recently undergoing a project with our newfound partnership with the World Health Organization we are currently working on a global autism e-resource center that will create and improve access to autism information, research, and education across all companies and disciplines. This initiative is part of the UN’s resolution to make a comprehensive effort in managing autism spectrum disorder.
The UN recognizes that autistic people still suffer from discrimination and are denied fundamental human rights on a global and national level. Ban Ki-Moon further promotes that, “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…When we empower them, we benefit current and future generations.”
Schools and centers like Shema Kolainu aim to do just that, which is why we do not take our jobs lightly. Children are an important piece of the puzzle in creating a more inclusive society.
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