Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World Autism Awareness Day, observed on 2 April:
As we work together to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, one key goal must be to build a more inclusive and accessible world that recognizes the contributions of all people, including persons with disabilities.
The crisis has created new obstacles and challenges. But efforts to reignite the global economy offer an opportunity to reimagine the workplace to make diversity, inclusion and equity a reality.
Recovery is also a chance to rethink our systems of education and training to ensure that persons with autism are afforded opportunities for realizing their potential.
Breaking old habits will be crucial. For persons with autism, access to decent work on an equal basis requires creating an enabling environment, along with reasonable accommodation.
To truly leave no one behind in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, we must realize the rights of all persons with disabilities, including persons with autism, ensuring their full participation in social, cultural and economic life.
Let us work together with all persons with disabilities and their representative organizations to find innovative solutions to recover better and build a better world for all.