Reducing Discrimination Through Innovation

Within the last 5 years, thanks to political support and national education, autism awareness in Bangladesh has grown immensely. Due to a lack of funds and resources, providing full comprehensive evidence based services for those in need is not yet possible, but with a continuation of our current progression, it is certainly an attainable goal. Credit for our tremendous success in providing public awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by families with autism is ultimately, thanks to the dedication and resilience of those very families. Our mission for families began in the 1990s with the implementation of comprehensive disability policies along with the formation of national forums and disability organizations. Since 2008, World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd is recognized and celebrated with a national event in Bangladesh. This event has involved a cultural show performed by PWD’s with our Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the guest of honor. Individuals and organizations were recognized for their work, while getting an opportunity to interact with the Prime Minister to express any concerns. Despite progression of autism awareness in the population, the real turning point for change in South Asia came with the international conference on autism organized in Dhaka on July 25th 2011. What differentiated this conference from others in the region was the integration of various individuals from scientific, personal, and political backgrounds. The presence of prominent political figures such as, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as well as many other First Ladies and ministers from the region, allowed our conference to be truly unique.

 

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