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Assistive Technologies, Active Participation: UN announces theme for World Autism Awareness Day observance
Coupling the observance of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 with the agenda for sustainable development, the United Nations (UN) has urged the world community to ensure the 'participation of persons with autism as both agents and beneficiaries is essential for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)' and announce the theme for the observance as Assistive Technologies, Active Participation.

According to the UN, autism awareness has grown worldwide in recent years. For the United Nations, the rights of persons with disabilities, including persons with autism, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are an integral part of its mandate.

"For many people on the autism spectrum, access to affordable assistive technologies is a prerequisite to being able to exercise their basic human rights and participate fully in the life of their communities, and thereby contribute to the realization of the SDGs. Assistive technology can reduce or eliminate the barriers to their participation on an equal basis with others," stated the UN ahead of the observance.

The UN has called upon the world community to make efforts to remove the barriers to the use of assistive technologies, including high costs, lack of availability, lack of awareness of their potential, and a lack of training in their use.

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