In the month marking #AutismDay2023 on 2 April, the IDEAL partners join Autism-Europe’s awareness-raising campaign “Building an inclusive society for autistic people”, an opportunity to reflect on the advances made so far for the autism community and the work that remains to improve the lives of autistic people and their families. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for making online and virtual educational services available and accessible to autistic people. Our project consortium is working together to eliminate the digital gap experienced by autistic people with high support needs in Vocational and Educational Training contexts by facilitating autonomous equal access to digital technologies to guarantee the continuity of autistic people’s education, as well as their social and personal development. 

The pathway to digital inclusion for autistic people, their families and education professionals requires accessible digital technologies (training platforms) for people in need of a high level of support and specialised training for education professionals in the use of these technologies. In this sense, as stated in Autism-Europe´s manifesto, to raise awareness about autism and value autistic people, the access to education should be free from barriers, and that is the aim IDEAL partners work towards.  

Autistic people can live independently in their communities with appropriate support services. They should have access to different types and levels of support depending on their individual needs and strengths. 

With its awareness-raising campaign “Building an inclusive society for autistic people” to mark World Autism Awareness Day 2023, Autism-Europe calls on European, national and regional policymakers and other stakeholders to ensure the full enjoyment of the rights and needs of autistic people in Europe, according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The UNCRPD has been ratified by 45 out of the 46 member countries of the Council of Europe (CoE), including by all EU member states and by the European Union itself in 2010. 

To implement the UNCRPD at EU level, the European Commission launched in March 2021 its second Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will run until 2030. Autistic people’s needs should be adequately addressed when implementing it in all areas, both at EU and Member States levels. 

How can you support the campaign? 

Autism-Europe prepared a document detailing aims and strategies for this #AutismDay2023 campaign, which will be carried out throughout April 2023 with different communication means and activities. Go through this toolkit to learn how you can engage in the campaign and download useful communication material! 

Please remember to use the hashtag #AutismDay2023 on social media!