World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognised day on the 2nd of April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution “62/139. World Autism Awareness Day”, passed in council on November 1, 2007, and adopted on December 18, 2007. It was proposed by the United Nations representative from Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and supported by all member states.
This resolution was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly, mainly as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights.Since its inception autism awareness and research around the world has boomed as a result. World Autism Day is also one of only four official health-specific UN Days. The day itself brings individual autism organizations together all around the world to aid in things like research, diagnoses, treatment, and overall awareness for those with the disorder and looking for help.
The First autism Awareness Day was hosted by the UN branches around the world. With events being held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. These events included a panel discussion sponsored by Qatar and the UN representative responsible for the resolution, along with the World Health Organization and the NGO Autism Speaks. In addition, there was a briefing concerning topics relating to autism awareness. Both of these events focused on personal efforts for awareness raising and eliminating negative stigma associated with autism. In addition, it highlighted the struggles of people with autism and mentioned the importance of better understanding the disorder.
Autism Speaks is one of the largest non-governmental organizations and aims to raise awareness to autism, further research, and act as an advocate to those with the disorder. This group is considered to lead the field in science and advocacy, and is a leader in research dealing with causes, prevention, treatments and cures. They also act as a large support system for families of an autistic person. Light It Up Blue is another event proposed by Autism Speaks. It is observed on WAAD, and is a dedication to autism awareness. The Power of One March is a unique night-time march in Washington, D.C. to mark World Autism Awareness Day, The march aims to unify the autism awareness community and provide a time of healing and peace around the globe. Attendees may choose which organization they want to march for with proceeds of LED bracelet sales going to the organization of their choosing.
In Canada Autism Ontario celebrates World Autism Awareness Day by “Raising a Flag” for autism. Municipalities around Ontario raise a flag to raise awareness for autism in their region. In 2014 WAAD coincided with Onesie Wednesday, a day created by the National Autistic Society to encourage people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to show their support for anyone on the autistic spectrum By wearing a onesie or pyjamaS. The Autism Flour Power Challenge was also launched 1 April 2016 to raise autism awareness by encouraging participants to blow into a bowl of flour and have it cover their face. The United States is a major proponent of human rights and In 2015 President Obama highlighted some of the initiatives that the US government was taking to bring rights to those with autism and to bring awareness to the disorder. He highlighted things like The Affordable Care Act, which prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition such as autism. He also pointed out the recent Autism CARES Act of 2014, which provides higher level training for those serving citizens on the autism spectrum.