Improving quality of life for people with autism


Autism-Europe aisbl is an international association whose main objective is to advance the rights of people with autism and their families and to help them improve their quality of life.
Autism-Europe plays a key role in raising public awareness, and in influencing European decision-makers on all issues related to the rights of people with autism.


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Latest news

Last days to benefit from the Early Booking rate for Autism-Europe’s 11th International Congress!

Up until the 30 April 2016 self-advocates, parents, professionals, and carers will still have the opportunity to benefit from the Early Booking rate and save more than 15% on booking fees when registering for Autism-Europe’s 11th International Congress. 

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Thanks for your support!

We would like to thank everyone who supported the launch of our “Respect, Acceptance, Inclusion” campaign on the 2 April!

By clicking on the picture below you can see an interactive story of how the campaign unfolded, outlining the valuable input of our members across Europe, the support of European policy-makers as well as the endorsement of some well-known faces.


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April 2, World Autism Awareness Day

This year, Autism-Europe is calling on everyone to promote respect, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism. To start with, support the campaign on Thunderclap by clicking here below and help us to reach this goal!

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Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes: "I wanted to try to change the global conversation about autism"

Author Steve Silberman was the keynote speaker for the UN’s Observance of World Autism Awareness Day 2016. In December Autism-Europe spoke to him about his hugely successful publication ‘Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity’.

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Join us for the “Run the Difference” race and support Autism-Europe!

Autism-Europe and students from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) have partnered up to organise the event “Run the Difference”, comprising a 5K and 2K fancy dress run to raise awareness of autism.1st prize will be free flights to Spain.

The race will be held on March 12th 2016 in the Bois de la Cambre Park in Brussels. All proceeds will be go towards supporting Autism-Europe’s continued activities.

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Register now to benefit from the Early Booking rate for Autism-Europe’s International Congress

Up until the 30 April 2016 self-advocates, parents, professionals, and carers will still have the opportunity to benefit of the Early Booking rate and save more than 15% on booking fees when registering for Autism-Europe’s 11th International Congress. 

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Autism-Europe welcomes the proposed European Accessibility Act and issues its recommendations

Autism-Europe considers the proposal for the European Accessibility Act has potential to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities throughout Europe. The proposal was finally published by the Commission on the 2 December 2015. Autism-Europe published a response to the proposal outlining a number of key recommendations to ensure that the specific needs of autistic people are not overlooked in the future Directive.

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Autism-Europe's Executive Committee welcomes two new members

Since December 2015, Autism-Europe's Executive Committee counts on two new members:

  • Pietro Cirrincione (Italy), as vice-president. Since 2006, he participates in the Italian Gruppo Asperger Onlus association as a board member at a national and regional level. He has been a board member of Autism-Europe since 2010, as well as being a self-advocate.
  • Marta Roca (Spain), as a member. She is President of the Federació Autisme Catalunya (since 2013) and a Board member of the Confederación Autismo España (since 2014).
  • More about Autism-Europe's structure... 

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Help us map autism policies in Europe!

Part of the ASDEU project consists of mapping autism-specific legislation and policies currently in place throughout Europe. Research into this aspect of national and regional approaches to autism will be supported by an online survey where autism organisations, persons with autism, their families, carers or any other professionals and stakeholders can provide feedback on the situation in the country/region where they live.

Your knowledge and expertise is key. We would therefore encourage you to help us by taking a few minutes to respond to our short online survey.

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The European Parliament hosts a conference on the call for a European Strategy for autism

The European Parliament was host to an event organised by Autism-Europe on the 29 September 2015. The conference, entitled “Moving forward for the adoption of a European Strategy for Autism in Europe”, follows on from the Parliament’s adoption of a Written Declaration on autism, co-drafted by Autism-Europe.

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The European Parliament passes a Written Declaration on Autism (2015)

In September 2015, the European Parliament has officially adopted the Written Declaration on Autism, co-signed by 418 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The document calls on the European Union and its Member States to adopt a European strategy for autism.


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Accessible education on sexuality for people with learning disabilities

As a final step of the Sexual Education for Adults with Disabilities project (SEAD), an event has been held on 23 September 2015 in Brussels. 

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United Nations Special Rapporteurs call for action on discrimination against people with autism

In the lead-up to World Autism Awareness Day 2015, two United Nations Special Rapporteurs are calling for an end to discrimination against people with autism and a celebration of diversity.   

Read the UN press release

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New campaign video launched

Check out this new video launched as part of our campaign for World Autism Awareness Day: 

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How well is the European Union implementing the UNCRPD?

The European Disability forum has published a report assessing the European Union's implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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Autism-Europe's new campaign Autism. Stop Discrimination. has been launched

Autism-Europe has launched a new campaign for World Autism Awareness Day 2015, called Autism. Stop discrimination. The campaign will run throughout March and April, and we encourage everyone to participate in 3 simple steps...

Find out more

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Valentine’s Day - promoting equal rights in love

Unfortunately, not all adults are allowed to make their own decisions when it comes to romantic relationships, marriage and reproductive rights. People with learning disabilities continue to face discrimination in Europe and around the world, in terms of freedom of choice and access to information.

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Autism-Europe events in Turin promote access to employment for people with autism

In 2014, the European Days of Autism focused on access to vocational training and employment. In the framework of the Italian Presidency of the European Union, Autism-Europe organised a conference in Turin to explore good practices from across Europe and discuss the way forward for the effective implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in the field of education and employment, with special focus given to Article 24 on Inclusive Education and Article 27 on the Right to Employment.

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Open Book tool to make text more accessible for people with autism now available

After three years in development, the Open Book tool, which aims to make text more accessible for people with autism, is now available in English, Spanish and Bulgarian.

Check out the video to see how it works:

Open Book has been developed by the FIRST project, a research project involving universities, companies and NGOs (including Autism-Europe).

Use Open Book

Check out the video in Spanish or Bulgarian.

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Immediate action required to prevent abuse of people with autism in Greece

Nov 21, 2014: Following media exposure of inhumane living conditions in the Lechaina care centre in Greece, Autism-Europe urges the Greek government to safeguard the human rights of people with autism and other disabilities.

Press release

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Dear European leaders, Please note: Autism is not an insult. It's a disability.

Oct 10, 2014: Following Commissioner Almunia's remarks insulting people with autism this week, Autism-Europe is calling on all European leaders not to denigrate people with disabilities.

Press release


World Contraception Day 2014: Making sex education accessible to all Europeans

It is essential for all young people and adults, including people with learning disabilities, to make informed decisions regarding their sexual life and reproductive health. To promote accesible sex education for people with autism, Autism-Europe is taking part in the SEAD project.

More Information

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Training project to support the inclusion of people with autism in the open labour market in Europe

Autism-Europe has embarked upon the JoTraDi project (Job Trainers for people with intellectual Disabilities and autism spectrum disorders); a collaborative initiative for social inclusion in the open labour market in Europe.
The project will develop ‘Job trainers’; teachers and other relevant professionals who will be able to assist people with autism to gain employment in the open labour market. It will also include a job placement programme to enable people with disabilities to gain work experience.
The JoTraDi project has received funding from the European Commission, under the Lifelong Learning Programme. 
For more information, contact rossellabrindani(at)

Autism-Europe Vice President presents workshops on UNCRPD implementation in Morocco

Autism-Europe’s Vice President, Evelyne Friedel, held two training workshops on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in Rabat, Morocco, in May.
Ms. Friedel presented the principles of the Convention, focusing on the articles concerning the right of people with autism to education, health and participation in political and public life. She also presented the various types of procedures and controls set forth by the Convention and its protocol for the full implementation of the Convention.
These workshops were held as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of autism in Morocco, titled “Je suis différent comme toi” (“I am different like you”). They were organised by the network ‘Collectif Autisme Maroc’ in partnership with the National Council for Human Rights.


More information (French only)
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Autism-Europe participates in a conference on accessibility of higher education for students with disabilities

The conference titled MapAbility: strengthen the accessibility of higher education institutions to students with special needs took place at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels on June 2, 2014. 

At the conference, Autism-Europe’s Director, Aurélie Baranger, discussed ways of increasing the participation of people with disabilities, including autism, in higher education and the Erasmus exchange programme, together with representatives of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), the European Commission and other disability organisations from across Europe. 
More information (English & French)
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Switzerland, Georgia and Andorra ratify the UNCRPD

Switzerland, Georgia and Andorra became the most recent European countries to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

More information

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Autism-Europe contributes to the Health and Human Rights Resource Guide

Autism-Europe has contributed to the fifth edition of the Health and Human Rights Resource Guide, published by Harvard University.
The publication is a resource for advocates and practitioners containing nine chapters that applies a human rights framework to specific health issues or vulnerable groups within the population, including people with disabilities.
The guide describes the collective complaint against France with regard to the right to education of children and adults with autism (Autism-Europe v. France, complaint No. 13/2002), in which France was found to have failed its educational obligations to people with autism under the European Social Charter.
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Find out what autism organisations around Europe did on World Autism Awareness Day 2014

Once again, Autism-Europe members have joined others around the world in calling for increased awareness of autism through a wide range of events and activities for World Autism Awareness Day 2014. Across Europe, bell-ringing ceremonies were held at stock exchanges and buildings were lit up blue at night. There were also conferences, art exhibitions and many other events, all aiming to raise awareness of autism.

More details about what Autism-Europe members did on WAAD 2014 are available on our website. Please contact us with details and photos of your events if you’d like them to be included. Meanwhile, you can see many photos from around Europe on World Autism Awareness Day 2014 on Facebook (if you can’t see the photos, login to Facebook, and ‘like’ the Autism-Europe fan page: ).
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