The United Nations supports the rights of persons with autism to fully participate in society, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In its pledge to leave no one behind, the 2030 Agenda represents a commitment to reducing inequality through social, economic and political inclusion for all people, including persons with disabilities. Yet many persons with autism still live in isolation, discriminated against and disconnected from their communities, in institutions or even in their own homes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of these inequalities through the loss or reduction of services at school, in homes and in the community. We need to ensure that the rights, perspectives and well-being of persons with disabilities, including those with autism, are an integral part of building forward better from the pandemic.
The solution lies in more community-based support systems for persons with autism. We must also establish inclusive education systems and training programmes that enable students with autism to access the educational path of their choice. And we must make technology solutions available for persons with autism to live independently in their communities. Active consultation with persons with disabilities and their representative organizations should be at the centre of these efforts.
On this World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to an inclusive, equitable and sustainable world for persons with autism.