World Autism Day – 2 April 2014

From United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

World Autism Awareness Day is about more than generating understanding; it is a call to action. I urge all concerned to take part in fostering progress by supporting education programmes, employment opportunities and other measures that help realize our shared vision of a more inclusive world.

From the United Nations

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high, and the disorder can bring significant hardships to families. World Autism Awareness Day highlights the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from autism, and promotes international attention to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support structures for individuals and their families. Member States are encouraged to hold educational events to encourage a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of those living with autism and ensure opportunities for them to realize their potential. The UN General Assembly declared this Day in its 2008 resolution A/RES/62/139.

From the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

As the body of Christ, we are to welcome everyone to the banquet Feast of God’s love in this world. The Feast of God’s love is open to all and fully inclusive of people from all pathways of life.
We envision a church in which the designation or naming of a person’s disability is less important than who that person is as one of God’s people.
We envision a church in which everyone welcomes and reflects diversity and inclusiveness in worship, education, fellowship, service, justice, leadership, and evangelism.
We envision a church in which all the members of the body of Christ honor, respect, nurture, and support the gifts, talents, and services of every other member.
We envision a church in which every child of God can realize her/his full potential, and through which society is consistently engaged and challenged to become more inclusive.
We envision a church that embodies the creative movement from awareness, through accessibility and integration, to full inclusion, and thus bears healing witness to the world.
We envision the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a leader in promoting and manifesting this vision of a just world, serving with and empowering people with disabilities to engage in this ongoing work.

Living into the Body of Christ, approved by the 217th General Assembly (2006)

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