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World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) throughout the world. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution "62/139. World Autism Awareness Day", passed in council on 1 November 2007, and adopted on 18 December 2007. It was proposed by the United Nations representative from Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and supported by all member states.[1][2][3][4]

This resolution was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly, mainly as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights.[3]

World Autism Day is one of only seven official health-specific UN Days.[5] The day itself brings individual autism organizations together all around the world to aid in things like research, diagnoses, treatment, and overall acceptance for those affected by this developmental disorder.



The original resolution had four main components:


For the past years each World Autism Awareness Day has focused on a specific theme determined by the UN.

  • 2018: "Empowering women and girls with autism"[8]
  • 2017: "Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination"[9]
  • 2016: "Autism and the 2030 Agenda: Inclusion and Neurodiversity"[10]
  • 2015: "Employment: The Autism Advantage"[11]
  • 2014: "Opening Doors to Inclusive Education"[12]
  • 2013: "Celebrating the ability within the disability of autism"[13]
  • 2012: "Launch of Official UN "Awareness Raising" Stamp"[14]

Notable initiativesEdit

Onesie WednesdayEdit

In 2014, WAAD coincided with Onesie Wednesday, a day created by the National Autistic Society to encourage people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to show their support for anyone on the autistic spectrum. By wearing a onesie or pyjamas, participants are saying, "it's all right to be different".[15]


United StatesEdit

In a 2015 Presidential Proclamation, President Obama highlighted some of the initiatives that the US government was taking to bring rights to those with autism and to bring awareness to the disorder. He highlighted things like The Affordable Care Act, which prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition such as autism. He also pointed out the recent Autism CARES Act of 2014, which provides higher level training for those who are serving citizens on the autism spectrum.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "THIRD COMMITTEE CALLS ON ASSEMBLY TO DESIGNATE 2 APRIL WORLD AUTISM DAY | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  2. ^ "GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS LANDMARK TEXT CALLING FOR MORATORIUM ON DEATH PENALTY | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  3. ^ a b "UNITED NATIONS MARKS FIRST WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY TODAY | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  4. ^ "WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY 2017". Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  5. ^ "UN - Global Issues - Health". Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Facts & Myths about Autism – Autism Awareness Day 2017 – Belair Daily". Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  7. ^ "United Nations General Assembly" (PDF). Autism Speaks. 21 January 2008.
  8. ^ "World Autism Awareness Day 2018". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  9. ^ "Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination - World Autism Awareness Day 2017". United Nations Web TV. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  10. ^ "World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April | United Nations Enable". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  11. ^ "World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  12. ^ "World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  13. ^ "World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  14. ^ "World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  15. ^ "About Onesie Wednesday". National Autistic Society. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Presidential Proclamation – World Autism Awareness Day, 2015". Retrieved 10 November 2015.