Home > Science > Inspired: Vision of a Nation, Declaration of a Region, Inspiration for Us All

Inspired: Vision of a Nation, Declaration of a Region, Inspiration for Us All

Post and photos by Michael Rosanoff, MPH, associate director public health research & scientific review

Through the Global Autism Public Health Initiative, our aim is to empower local communities to seek out and protect the human rights and public health of their fellow citizens with autism. This includes cultivating more compassionate societies by enhancing autism awareness, building autism health services to improve access to early diagnosis and intervention, and improving scientific understanding of the prevalence and causes of autism around the world. None of this can be accomplished without collaboration, and every part of this mission can yield benefits to communities beyond those where the efforts are taking place.

In an extraordinary demonstration of collaboration, government representatives from eleven South Asian countries participated in the Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities in Bangladesh and South Asia and unanimously adopted the “Dhaka Declaration” to the United Nations.

While the Dhaka Declaration provides a roadmap for cooperative autism activities in South Asia, its implications reach far beyond the region. Whether it is written in English or Bangla, whether you are reading it here in the US or abroad, the language is universal and the message is clear–together we can change the future for all who struggle with autism and developmental disabilities.

Below are selected excerpts from the Dhaka Declaration, accompanied by some of the images I captured while visiting schools, hospitals, and centers for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities in Dhaka City and its rural outskirts. It is my hope that the following will shed new light and offer a clearer perspective on why the global work that Autism Speaks supports is critically important, not only to autism communities in Bangladesh and South Asia, but to the global autism community as a whole. It is my hope that these words and these images touch you as they touched me.

Inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments …

Reiterating the provisions of Constitutions of our respective countries safeguarding against discrimination and social exclusion of people on grounds of any disability or condition…


Concerned that, despite increasing evidence documenting the effectiveness of early interventions in improving the overall functioning of the child and long-term outcomes, children and families in need often have poor access to services and do not receive adequate treatment and care …


Deeply concerned at the prevalence and high rate of autism in all societies and regions and its consequent developmental challenges to long-term health care, education and training as well as its tremendous impact on communities and societies…


Recalling that children with developmental disorders and their families often face major challenges associated with stigma, isolation and discrimination as well as a lack of access to health care and education facilities…

Recalling further that even the basic human rights of children and adults with developmental disorders are often abused, in many cases in flagrant violation of existing UN declarations and treaties…

Inspired further by a vision that all individuals with autism and developmental disorders ought to receive adequate and equal opportunities to enjoy health, achieve their optimal developmental potential and quality of life, and participate in society…

(We) Adopt this Declaration with the objective of promoting stronger and coordinated actions in the region and globally towards the improvement of access and quality of health care services for individuals with autism and developmental disorders.

We invite you to read the full Dhaka Declaration and the news announcement by Michael, Andy, and Dana here.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,038 other followers

%d bloggers like this: