World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) throughout the world.
Autism awareness has grown worldwide in recent years. When world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, the international community reaffirmed its strong commitment to inclusive, accessible and sustainable development, and pledged that no one would be left behind. In this context, the participation of persons with autism as both agents and beneficiaries is essential for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
For many people on the autism spectrum, access to affordable assistive technologies is a prerequisite to being able to exercise their basic human rights and participate fully in the life of their communities and thereby contribute to the realization of the SDGs. Assistive technology can reduce or eliminate the barriers to their participation on an equal basis with others.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities acknowledges the instrumental role of assistive technologies in enabling persons with disabilities to exercise their rights and freedoms. It obliges States that are party to the Convention to promote availability and use of such technologies at an affordable cost, to facilitate access to them, and to undertake or promote research and development into new such technologies.
While technological advances are continuous, there are still major barriers to the use of assistive technologies, including high costs, lack of availability, lack of awareness of their potential, and a lack of training in their use. Available data indicates that, in several developing countries, more than 50% of the persons with disabilities who need assistive devices are not able to receive them.
In September 2018, the UN Secretary-General launched a new Strategy on New Technologies, which aims to define how the United Nations system will support the use of these technologies to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The Strategy is also intended to facilitate the alignment of these technologies with the values enshrined in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the norms and standards of International Law, including the CRPD and other human rights conventions. These values include equality and equity, inclusion and transparency. Design and use of new technologies, according to the Strategy, should be guided by a rights-based and ethical perspective.
In the context of the Secretary-General’s Strategy, the 2019 World Autism Awareness Day observance at UN Headquarters in New York will focus on leveraging the use of assistive technologies for persons with autism as a tool in removing the barriers to their full social, economic and political participation in society, and in promoting equality, equity and inclusion.
In 2008, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day. The 2019 observance of the Day at UN Headquarters is organized by the UN Department of Global Communications and Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in close cooperation with persons with autism and their representative organizations.
Every year prominent landmarks are lit blue all around the world to increase awareness on Autism. In Nepal, Light It UP Blue was started from 2012: since then we have been successfully able to light blue at Basantapur Durbar Square, Boudha Stupa, Swyambhu Stupa, Dharahara Tower, Rani Pokhari, Patan Durbar Square, TU Teacheing Hospital, Midhat Hospital, Dhulikhel Hospital, Manipal Hospital, Kathmandu Medical College and many residential buildings. Similarly, this year we performed Light it UP Blue program at Basantapur Durbar Square successfully with completion of 11th year of service to children and person with autism and their families.
12th World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) 2019
Tentative Program Schedule
“Assistive Technologies, Active Participation”
|Date||Day||Program and Activities||Time||Remarks|
|22nd March||Friday||Staff Meeting for Preparation||3:00 pm||ACNS premises|
|25th March||Monday||Volunteer Orientation program||2:00 pm||ACNS premises|
|26th March||Tuesday||K and K college volunteers’ orientation.||1:00 pm|
|28th March||Thursday||Talk show Program in News 24 Television, Development Forum||8:00 am||ICID Nepal|
|29th March||Friday||Press Meet Program||10:30 am||Alfa Beta, Naya baneshwor|
|30th March||Saturday||Autism Awareness “Walkathon Program”||7:00am- 9:00 am||Starting from ACNS and ending at ACNS|
|31st March||Monday||Stall exhibition in Teaching Hospital Flash Mob||1:00pm- 4:00 pm||Collaboration with Teaching Hospital|
|2nd April||Tuesday||Main Event: Marking World Autism Awareness Day- WAAD “”||4:00 pm- 7:30 pm||All the Invitees are requested to join the program at Basantapur Durbar Square, Kathmandu.|
|· Mandala Preparation||4:00 pm -5:00 pm|
|Informal Program||5:00-5:30 pm|
|· Registration and IEC materials Distribution and Stall Exhibition|
|· Musical performance by volunteers|
|· Flash Mob program|
|Formal Program||5:30 pm –6:30 pm|
|Arrival of distinguished guests
1. Chief Guest: Mr. Bidhya Sundar Shakya, Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City.
2. Special Guest:
· Mr. Chudamani Bhandari, Deputy DG, DOHS, MOH.
· , Director, Leprosy Control Division and Disability Focal unit
· Mr. Sudarshan Subedi, President of NFDN
· Mr., Director, DoE
· Representatives from MoWCSW
· Representatives of MOE
· Representatives of SWC
· Representatives from Australian Embassy
· Representatives from DPOs
· Representatives from DPOD, My Right, Abilis Foundation
|5:30 pm||MC: Mr. Surendra Bajracharya|
|· Inauguration program and Batch Distribution||5:30 pm||Mrs. Mahalaxmi Karki and team|
|· National Anthem||5:35 pm -5:40 pm|
|· Welcome Speech by General Secretary of ACNS||5:40 pm – 5:45 pm||Mrs. Neelam Gautam|
|· Musical performance by Children with Autism (CWAs) of ACNS||5:45 pm- 5:50 pm||All CWAs, parents and Teachers|
|· Ramp Show|
|· Speech by Special Guest||5:50 pm- 6:10 pm|
|· Certificate and Token of Love distribution||6:10 pm -6:20 pm|
|· Thank you, Speech by Chairperson, of ACNS||6:20 pm- 6:30 pm||Dr. Sunita Maleku Amatya|
|Closing ceremony: Blue Candle Lightening and Light It up Blue program (LIUB) at Basantapur Durbar Square||6:30 pm|
|Group Photography||6:30 pm Onwards|
|3rd April||Wednesday||Stall exhibition at Bhatebhateni||Coordination with TUTH Students|
|3rd April||Wednesday||Autism Orientation Program to teachers of Campion Kathmandu Secondary school||11:00 am||Campion Kathmandu Secondary School with collaboration with ENGAGE|
|3rd April||Thursday||Physical activity, Sports and Exercise for Children with autism||1:00 pm|
|6th April||Saturday||Free Group Counselling to Parents of Children with autism||11:00am -12:00pm||Mr. Raj Kaji Prajapati, Clinical Psychologist|
|9th April||Tuesday||Create Art for Autism||11:00 am||ACNS Premises|
|9th April||Tuesday||Free Counselling session to Parents of Children with Autism||1:00 pm||Mrs. Kripa Shrestha|
|9th April||Tuesday||Free Counselling session to Parents of Children with Autism||2:00 pm onwards||Dr. Merina Shrestha, Pediatrician|
|12th April||Friday||Interaction with Government Stakeholders|
|15th to 26th April||Teacher’s Training Program|