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Note No. 6542
7 April 2021

United Nations to Observe World Autism Awareness Day with Global Virtual Event on Workplace Inclusion

The United Nations will observe World Autism Awareness Day (2 April) with a global virtual event on the theme “Inclusion in the Workplace:  Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World”.  The event will take place on Thursday, 8 April from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST.

A vast majority of adults with autism are either unemployed or severely underemployed and the global economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated inequalities that persons with autism face with regard to access to employment.  At the same time, new ways of working, including remote working and the use of new technologies, have created opportunities for employees who have found traditional workplace environments challenging.

The 2021 World Autism Awareness Day observance will explore those issues through moderated panel discussions with individuals on the autism spectrum who have themselves experienced the challenges and seen the new opportunities in the employment market.

The event will be streamed live on webtv.un.org, as well as on United Nations social media platforms.  Registration is open at the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day (UN WAAD) webpage, at https://www.un.org/en/observances/autism-day.

The right to employment is enshrined in Article 27 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  It is also strongly reflected in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda adopted by world leaders in 2015.  Sustainable Development Goal 8 — Decent Work and Economic Growth — calls for full and productive employment and decent work for all, including persons with disabilities.

The event is organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications and Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in collaboration with the Specialisterne Foundation.  It is co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Italy, Malta, Poland and Qatar to the United Nations.

For information media. Not an official record.