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On World Autism Awareness Day 2020 (April 2nd), Autism-Europe (ae) launched a long-running awareness campaign titled “I can learn. I can work” to inform and raise awareness about access to education and employment for people on the autism spectrum.

The campaign

AE's campaign “I can learn, I can work”, focuses on two key themes that are central for the social inclusion of autistic people at various stages of their lives: access to education and employment. The campaign is taking place at a critical time, as the EU is currently discussing the future EU Disability Strategy 2020- 2030, for which AE is advocating. The coming years will also see the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights that states that ‘everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market’.

The motto

The slogan “I can learn. I can work” is both a call for action, and equally an invitation to promote access to quality, inclusive education and employment in cooperation with autistic people. Fostering positive change and inclusive actions, requires the guidance and experience of people with autism and their families, and they must be involved in the development of solutions for accessibility.

It is crucial that decision-makers across Europe, as well as society as a whole, gain a better understanding of autism and work towards spreading awareness, providing adequate support and addressing the barriers that autistic people face when accessing education and employment.

Finding a tool

To help show support for our campaign, we asked people to share pictures or videos of themselves on social media holding a tool to represent their ability to learn and work.

Infographic of the campaign

To get people involved in the campaign, Autism-Europe produced a toolkit indicating how to most effectively bring the subject to the attention of the general public.

SUPPORTERS of the campaign

Engaging EU policy-makers

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) express support to the campaign by holding tools to represent their skills.

Left to right: MEP Dolors Montserrat (Spain), MEP Maite Pagazaurtundua (Spain), MEP Lefteris Christoforou (Cyprus)
Top left: Parliament Magazine, Top right: European Economic and Social Committee, Bottom left: Antonio Guterres - Secretary-General of the United Nations, Bottom right: MEP Miriam Dalli

MEP Miriam Dalli discusses the rights of autistic people in relation to access to education and employment.

MEP Stelios Kympouropoulos discusses the need for increased access to quality education and employment for autistic people.

The state of play of autism was discussed at the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament on November 5th 2019, in Brussels. Many MEPs expressed their support to support employment of autistic people on this occasion.

support from all walks of life

A wide array of individuals, families, associations, institutions, companies and public figures also participated in the campaign.

The campaign builds momentum throughout Europe and beyond

spain

Spanish football player Gaizka Mendieta holding tools to represent his skills and supporting the campaign theme.
Supporters from Asociación Argadini showing their skills.
Video put together by PTV Telecom

italy

Supporters from FONDAZIONE OLTRE IL LABIRINTO ONLUS
The Romulea Autistic Football Club shared a video in honour of World Autism Awareness Day.

belgium

The Autism-Europe team and the NAATE project partners with the campaign visual outside of the European Parliament in Brussels.

France

Young lady with autism supporting the campaign by showing her cooking skills

Poland

Supporters of an online event hosted by Neurorozwojowe Studenckie Koło Naukowe

croatia

Students from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Zagreb.
Privatna gimnazija i ekonomska škola Katarina Zrinski, a school in Zagreb, Croatia took part in the campaign by showing students skills
Members of the ASD-EAST project team from Croatia

Malta

Children from Skola Primarja Birkirkara, a school in Malta, displaying their skills

Cyprus

Photo posted by the AASP Center of two supporters showing their skills

North Macedonia

The President of Blue Firefly with her two chefs holding the campaign banner

Russia

Children from across Russia supporting the campaign

A few words from our supporters

"I can work" Competition

As part of the campaign, Autism-Europe launched an online competition, “I can work”, to celebrate and share positive initiatives for the employment of people on the autism spectrum. The winning employment project was a Belgian initiative entitled “Constellation solidaire“ (Solidarity Constellation). The project aims to set-up an interoperable internet platform which will allow exchanges and cooperation between all the actors involved in the professional inclusion of autistic people. This platform will make full use of artificial intelligence techniques.

Thank you for your support. It’s your participation that makes the difference!

Created By
Autism Europe
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Credits:

Autism-Europe