In 2007, the United Nations declared April 2nd as the World Autism Awareness Day. In partnership with other Canadian autism organizations within the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA), Geneva Centre for Autism has lobbied for the recognition of World Autism Awareness Day in Canada. We are pleased to have played a role in the declaration by our Canadian Parliament of April 2nd as the annual Autism Awareness Day. This marked the beginning of an evolving and productive relationship with our federal government and public service, working to develop a national autism strategy. Please see the CASDA website for further information on this and related work being done to advance a national autism agenda. (www.asdalliance.org)
Advancing the awareness of autism as a social issue is also part of our work with the World Autism Organization (WAO). Together, member agencies promote the rights of individuals with an ASD to full access to participation in their communities as respected citizens with access to all the rights enjoyed by all their fellow citizens. Please see the attached manifesto adopted by all members of WAO. (www.worldautismorganization.org)
Throughout April, Geneva Centre for Autism will be promoting and participating in a number of awareness activities, including a showing of the documentary Wretches and Jabberers. Watch our website for announcements. Our awareness activities will be capped off with our Gala Event, The Autists, a celebration of art and talent by those with a passion for autism. (www.theautistsgala.com)
The challenges associated with autism continue to demand our attention and action. It is our commitment to the families we serve, the individuals with an ASD who depend on us to be there for them and to the community of care providers that we support, that we will continue to provide evidence based services that promote access to full participation in our communities and advocate for more and better services and supports.