The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Celebrates Autism Acceptance Month
Menasha, WI – The Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin, along with the national Autism Society Affiliate network and other leading disability organizations across the country, announces a formal shift from recognizing April as “Autism Awareness Month” to “Autism Acceptance Month”.
Autism community advocates across the country have a long-standing history of using the term “acceptance”. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) 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.”
Other groups that have been using ‘acceptance’ through the month of April include the Administration for Community Living, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Autistic Women and Non-Binary Network, Easter Seals, First Place AZ, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and The Arc.
“While we will always work to raise awareness and build a better understanding of autism, the need for acceptance is greater than ever, says Kirsten Cooper, executive director of the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin, “We encourage our communities to join us as we step beyond awareness into appreciation, inclusion, and acceptance.”
In the United States, 1 in 54 are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, totaling over 5 million young people and adults. People with autism are classmates, colleagues, friends, and loved ones, and contribute their strengths, talents and abilities to the community around them. Across the nation, people with autism achieve independence and live purposeful lives when provided the support system and opportunities that each and every one of us deserves.
In April, we celebrate the numerous ways autistic individuals contribute to our communities and enrich the world. As we recognize this important month, we reaffirm their fundamental rights to participate fully in society, be treated with dignity and respect, and fulfill their highest potential.
Throughout the month, the Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin will share 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, and continue throughout the month. Please follow us on Facebook to join the conversation and check out our Autism Acceptance Month page for more information.