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World Autism Awareness Day: Ombudsman of Georgia urges govt to ensure dignified life for patients

Tbilisi: The World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated On April 2. The day highlights the commitment to promote acceptance, support and inclusion of people with autism, and to raise awareness about their rights as others.

 At the same time, it is important to recognize the contributions made by autistic people to social life in different areas. This year’s celebration focuses on the contributions they make to their families, in the workplace, in the arts and in policy-making.

 On Autism Awareness Day, the 2023 UN Secretary-General said that despite some progress, there are still barriers in society that prevent people with autism from fully exercising their basic human rights and freedoms.

 In Georgia, despite some positive steps taken in recent years to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, people with autism still face many challenges. These include equal access to preschool services, inclusive education, employment, healthcare and rehabilitation programs, community stigma and stereotypes.

Countrywide coverage of targeted rehabilitation services tailored to the needs of autistic people remains unresolved, until now there is no effective targeted government programs for managing difficult behavior. Especially difficult for adults with autism. 

Fragmented rehabilitation programs that operate in several municipalities for autistic children are also unavailable to them.

 The Ombudsman of Georgia urges the government to take measures that ensure the independent life of people with autism, integration into society, realization of the right to employment, education, access to health care, continuous rehabilitation and other state programs, creation of equal development opportunity for them and recognition of their contribution.

 It is important to raise awareness among citizens in order to eliminate the stigma and misconceptions in the society. Also, psychological and social support for people with disabilities and their families.

 According to the decision of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the day of raising awareness about autism has been celebrated in the world since 2008.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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