The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day 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.
The second part of the 2nd International Meeting of IPAT was dedicated to sharing the experiences of the World Autism Day-WAD whose international day was celebrated on the 2nd of April. Each partner organization presented the activities carried out at the local and national levels. All organizations were very active in raising awareness about autism and several initiatives took place, both promoted by IPAT partners and local/national institutions. Interesting initiatives and events, also at a policy level, were promoted in each country and some activities will take place in the following weeks. The session was the opportunity to make common reflections and plan a strategy for supporting such relevant and international days through the IPAT project.
“For us, every day is April 2nd”. Using this motto, Child and Adolescent Centre has enhanced its ASD community awareness activities during the month of April: we have dedicated our monthly Newsletter to autism, we have published an interview on autism in Greece and in Europe on the Social Policy website and press releases on local newspapers, we have used the social media and all our channels to promote www.autismap.gr, the first information portal on autism in Greece developed by our organisation, we have made advances in broadening our synergies and collaborations with other organisations of the civil society supporting autistic individuals. At the national level, the Hellenic Association for the Protection of Autistic Individuals, in collaboration with the Ministry of Civilisation and the municipalities of Athens, Pireus and Ioannina, has participated in the initiative Light it Up Blue. Several monuments and buildings were illuminated in blue.
Important iconic buildings in our country were illuminated with blue light on April 2 within the scope of the “Light Autism Blue” campaign, which is organized simultaneously all over the world in order to draw attention to autism and increase awareness.
Gaziantep University also tried to be a part of this meaningful awareness movement by turning blue light on autism in our home during this period when the “Stay at Home” call was made. We also participated in a Radio Programme to present the IPAT project.
Through the campaign slogan “I can learn. I can work”, Autism Spain promoted education and employment, claiming that the educational system and the labour market do not adjust to the specific needs of people with autism. The risk of being excluded in these areas has been increased through the pandemic.
Autism Spain as a global movement asked citizens to make a gesture for autism and join the awareness campaign on social networks in 3 simple steps:
– Pick a tool that represents one of your skills and hold it in your hand
– Take a picture, video or gif by holding or using the tool
– Share it on your social networks with the hashtag #WorldAutismDay