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World Autism Awareness Day 2021

WAAD – World Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd marks World Autism Awareness Day, a designated United Nations Day of Observance.

On December 18th 2007, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day, to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with Autism so that they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.

Read more about World Autism Awareness Day here.

United Nations World Autism Awareness Day 2021

The focus of this year’s UN World Autism Awareness Day is ‘Inclusion in the Workplace’. To address this issue, the UN is holding a virtual event on the 8th of April entitled ‘Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World’. The event will look at disparities and discrimination exposed by the pandemic, as well as  ensuring inclusion. For more information, see https://www.un.org/en/observances/autism-day.

The European Charter of Rights for Persons with Autism

This year will also mark the 25th anniversary of the European Charter of Rights for Persons with Autism being signed and passed by the European Parliament. The Charter, co-authored by the Irish Society for Autism, states that people with Autism should share the same rights and privileges enjoyed by all of the European population, and that these rights should be enhanced, protected, and enforced by appropriate legislation in each EU Member State.

During the ongoing pandemic, we are reminded now more than ever, of the continuing need to recognise and support the Autistic community in an ever-changing World. 

For further information, see our page dedicated to the charter here.

This World Autism Awareness Day, we urge everyone to remember and honour the 19 principles set out in the European Charter of Rights for Persons with Autism:

  1. The right of people with Autism to live independent and full lives to the limit of their potential.
  2. The right of people with Autism to accessible, unbiased and accurate clinical diagnosis and assessment.
  3. The right of people with Autism to accessible and appropriate education.
  4. The right of people with Autism (and their representatives) to be involved in all decisions affecting their future; the wishes of the individual must be, as far as possible, ascertained and respected.
  5. The right of people with Autism to accessible and suitable housing.
  6. The right of people with Autism to the equipment, assistance, and support services necessary to live a fully productive life with dignity and independence.
  7. The right of people with Autism to an income or wage sufficient to provide adequate food, clothing, accommodation and the other necessities of life.
  8. The right of people with Autism to participate as far as possible, in the development and management of services provided for their wellbeing.
  9. The right of people with Autism to appropriate counselling and care for their physical, mental and spiritual health; this includes the provision of appropriate treatment and medication administered in the best interest of the individual with all protective measures taken.
  10. The right of people with Autism to meaningful employment and vocational training without discrimination or stereotype; training and employment should have regard to the ability and choice of the individual.
  11. The right of people with Autism to accessible transport and freedom of movement.
  12. The right of people with Autism to participate in and benefit from culture, entertainment, recreation and sport.
  13. The right of people with Autism of equal access to and use of all facilities, services and activities in the community.
  14. The right of people with Autism to sexual and other relationships, including marriage, without exploitation or coercion.
  15. The right of people with Autism (and their representatives) to legal representation and assistance, and to the full protection of all legal rights.
  16. The right of people with Autism to freedom from fear or threat of unwarranted incarceration in psychiatric hospitals, or any other restrictive institution.
  17. The right of people with Autism to freedom from abusive physical treatment or neglect.
  18. The right of people with Autism to freedom from pharmacological abuse or misuse.
  19. The right of people with Autism (and their representatives) to all information contained in their personal, medical, psychological, psychiatric and educational records.