April has widely been known as “Autism Awareness Month” across the world, a way to empower autistic individuals and their families.
In 1970, the Autism Society (U.S.A) launched a Pan-American effort to promote autism awareness and assure that all affected by autism can achieve the highest quality of life possible. In 1972, Autism Society (U.S.A) launched the first annual National Autistic Children’s week, which evolved into Autism Acceptance Month (AAM).
Mali Autism Awareness Center (MAAC), Kenya’s leading grassroots autism organization, is proud to celebrate Autism Acceptance Month in April 2021 with its “Celebrate Differences” campaign.
Designed to build a better awareness of the signs, symptoms, and realities of autism, #CelebrateDifferences focuses on providing information and resources for communities to be more aware of autism, promote acceptance and be more inclusive in everyday life.
Mali Autism Awareness Center (MAAC) recognizes that the prevalence of autism in Kenya is currently at 1 autistic child in every 50, the goal for MAAC is to further increase awareness about autism signs, symptoms, and opportunities through information and referrals, events, printable and digital resources, and community partnerships with businesses and organizations dedicated to building inclusive experiences.
MAAC has a variety of resources designed to inform and encourage communities to celebrate differences and become more inclusive of individuals with autism. The campaign will overlap with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, 2021, and continue throughout the month.
MAAC urges the Media to recognize the shift from “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month” this 6th April 2021 is announcing that it is formally shifting references of “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month” and is calling on the media to reflect this in their ongoing coverage.
April has widely been known as “Autism Awareness Month” across the world, a way to empower autistic individuals and their families. Today, the autism community is calling on all media outlets to shift their language to match the growing need for acceptance within the community in preparation for any news coverage in the weeks ahead.
The shift in the use of terminology aims to foster acceptance to ignite change through improved support and opportunities in education, employment, accessible housing, affordable health care, and comprehensive long term
“While we will always work to spread awareness, words matter as we strive for autistic individuals to live fully in all areas of life,” says Pauline Amukoa, CEO of the Mali Autism Acceptance Centre. “As many individuals and families affected by autism know, acceptance is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system.”
Autism community advocates across the country have a long-standing history of using the term “acceptance” as a means of more fully integrating those 1 in every 25 Kenyans living with autism into our social fabric. The Autistic Society of Kenya has been framing April as Autism Acceptance Month since 2011, stating “Acceptance of autism as a natural condition in the human experience is necessary for real dialogue to occur.”
There has never been a formal designation for the month, regardless of terminology. Therefore, as part of this shift, the MAAC is leading a significant effort for the county governments and the National Government of Kenya to officially designate April as “Autism Acceptance Month.”
This will coincide with their campaign to #CelebrateDifferences, which encourages individuals with autism and their families to live full, quality lives through connection and acceptance. More on the campaign will be released in the coming weeks.
Get in touch:
Pauline Amukoa, President and CEO of Mali Autism Acceptance Center, and representative families and individuals can be available to answer questions and provide comments. If you’re interested in scheduling an interview, please contact Pauline at +254793-582-540 or firstname.lastname@example.org