On World Autism Awareness Day, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres underscored in his message on Tuesday, the importance of technology which helps people living with autism “achieve their full potential”.
“Celebrate the diversity of our global community and strengthen our commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with autism”, he said, as “a vital part of our efforts to uphold the core promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind”.
In recent years, societies across the world have become increasingly aware of autism, the neurological condition that impacts communication and social behavior. Last year, Mr. Guterres launched a Strategy on New Technologies to help align these tools with UN values, international law and human rights conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
This year’s observance underscores the importance of “affordable assistive technologies” to help people with autism live independently and “exercise their basic human rights”, he said.
However, the UN chief pointed out that there are still “major barriers to accessing such technologies”, including high costs, unavailability and a lack of awareness of their potential.
“On World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to these values – which include equality, equity and inclusion – and to promoting the full participation of all people with autism, by ensuring that they have the necessary tools to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said.