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Statement on Autism Acceptance Month

Monday, April 8, 2019

Statement on Autism Acceptance Month

April 2nd, 2019

The DC Commission on Persons with Disabilities (DCCPD) joins our nation in celebrating Autism Acceptance Month. Autism, or Autism-Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability that may affect an individual’s communication, use of senses, learning, and social behaviors. As a Commission, we are thankful to see the progress as it relates to Autism acceptance and recognition that autism is a natural part of the human experience.

World Autism Day, April 2nd, was designated by the United Nations (UN) in 2008. This year, the UN will focus on Assistive Technologies and Active Participation as a theme for World Autism Day. In 2014, under the leadership of former President Barack Obama, the Autism CARES Act of 2014 was passed. The Act dedicated monetary aid of 1.3 billion dollars for autism research, services, training, and education.

Although, we will celebrate Autism Acceptance Month throughout April, the DCCPD encourages each of us to take some time this month to read, learn and share more about Autism. Major networks such as Sesame Street, are working to bring acceptance to the world through, Julia Sesame Workshop's new digital initiative, "Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children," which includes an iPad app and various online resources for parents of children with autism.

Organizations run by and for people with autism like, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) work to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with autism. The DCCPD encourages the entire District community to change the conversation about autism from fear and pity to one of acceptance and recognition that individuals with autism make valuable contributions to society. People with Autism are our children, spouses, partners, parents, coworkers, friends, students, teachers, family, and neighbors.

The DCCPD salutes all that are bringing awareness and action for the full inclusion of people with autism in our society. We encourage the nation to continue creating and realizing the importance of inclusive communities for all.

Autism Acceptance Events around DC

The Commission on Persons with Disabilities

Kamilah Martin-Proctor, Chair

Shakira Hemphill

Dr. Silvia Martinez

Jarvis Grindstaff

Travis Painter

Charlotte Clymer

Gerry Counihan

Jeremy Mann

Edward James

Hope Fuller

Mary Wade

Dr. Denise Decker

Tiffany Smallwood

Terrance Hunter

The Commission serves as an advisory body to inform and advise the District on programs, services, facilities, and activities that impact the lives of residents with disabilities in the District of Columbia. The Commission is committed to enhancing the image, status, inclusion, and quality of life for all District of Columbia residents, visitors, and employees with disabilities, and ensuring that they have the same rights and opportunities as those without disabilities. To learn more about the Commission, visit odr.dc.gov/DCCPD.