On December 3 every year, the United Nations recognizes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which is a global day of observance that began in 1992. This awareness day calls for better understanding of disability issues as well as acceptance, dignity and support for those with disabilities across the world, and across all economic, political, and societal spheres.
With a world population of 8 billion people, and with one billion of those individuals having some form of disability, greater advocacy and acceptance of disabilities will make an impact on a large portion of society, and often, some of the most vulnerable. The UN reports that one in every 10 children has a disability. Forty-six percent of people aged 60 and over have disabilities as well.
Working toward an equalization of opportunities for individuals with disabilities is what the International Day of Persons with Disabilities Aims to achieve.
Supporting the Autism Community
This year’s observance is important to families who are impacted by disability, and for community members who want to see greater inclusion at their places of work, schools and places of worship. For individuals with autism spectrum disorder, today amplifies the importance that care for people with autism needs to be accompanied by actions at community and societal level so that individuals with autism can live full, meaningful lives within their communities.
In addition to commemorating International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the United Nations declared April 2 as World Autism Day, which serves as another important reminder to come together and advocate for acceptance and inclusion of neurodiverse individuals.
Ways to Promote Greater Inclusivity and Acceptance for the Autism Community
Evidence has shown that when barriers to inclusion are removed for individuals with disabilities, the entire community benefits. Inclusion and accessibility are fundamental rights, and everyone should be working toward better and more holistic inclusion for all. For families and caregivers within the autism spectrum disorder community, International Day of Persons with Disabilities is another reminder of how much progress has been made for individuals with disabilities, and how much is still left to achieve.
If your family is seeking a way to honor IDPD today, below are several ways to take action and advocate for inclusion for all individuals with disabilities, as well as to teach your children and community the importance of providing opportunities for everyone:
- Add books to your child’s collection that feature characters with autism or other neurodiversity (A Friend for Henry is an excellent example).
- If your child points out a difference in a child, instead of dismissing it or being embarrassed by your child’s observation, take the opportunity to educate your child about peoples’ differences and how they make our world interesting and special.
- Educate yourself on the proper terminology that is inclusive of individuals with autism. In some cases, parents of children with autism prefer different terminology. If unsure, it is always appropriate to ask them to find out what they see as most respectful and preferred. (Examples: Autistic person, person with ASD, etc.)
- Share educational posts on social media that help others better understand how to support individuals with disabilities, or how to make an impact through nonprofits or organizations working toward achieving greater accessibility.
- Encourage your family members and children to make friendships with individuals with various abilities, and invite them to activities or your home. Widening your social circle to include individuals with many abilities will demonstrate true inclusivity in your home.
- Serve as an advocate for individuals with autism and disabilities. One way to do so is to learn about ways to get involved in improving resources and inclusion in your own town.
At Acorn Health, we strive to provide families and our learners with tools to achieve their greatest potential in life, and that means finding ways to make our communities as a whole more inclusive. Reach out to our team if you have questions or want to learn how ABA therapy supports families and learners in living full, meaningful lives.
Call Acorn Health at 844-244-1818 or complete an online inquiry form at acornhealth.com/admissions.