Improving quality of life for people with autism

Autism Europe Aisbl

 
 
Autism-Europe aisbl is an international association whose main objective is to advance the rights of persons 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 the European decision-makers on all issues relating to autism, including the promotion of the rights of people with autism and other disabilities involving complex dependency needs.
 
 
 

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Autism-Europe

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: www.facebook.com/autismeurope.AE ).
 
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Ringing the bell for World Autism Awareness Day 2014 at the stock exchanges across Europe!

For the fifth year in a row, Autism-Europe members were cooperating with NYSE Euronext to raise awareness of autism through bell-ringing ceremonies at stock exchanges in several cities across Europe.

  • On April 2, the stock exchange in Brussels held a bell ringing ceremony to open the trading day. Minister for Health, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunity of the Wallonian Government, Eliane Tillieux, rang the bell alongside numerous guests from Flemish and Wallonian autism organisations and Autism-Europe’s Director, Aurélie Baranger. Watch the video here
  • On World Autism Awareness Day, our Vice President, Evelyne Friedel, took part in a ceremony in which a young man with autism rang the bell to close the day's trading at the Euronext stock exchange in Paris. Watch the video here
  • Autism-Europe's Council of Administration member Isabel Cottinelli Telmo and people with autism rang the stock exchange’s closing bell in Lisbon during an event to raise awareness of autism. The event was also attended by government representatives and professionals. More information

 

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Today is World Autism Awareness Day!

On World Autism Awareness Day, President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, is supporting our 'Autism and work. Together we can.' campaign, and calling for innovative employment opportunities for people with autism across Europe!

                

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Minister for Health, Eliane Tillieux, to ring the opening bell at the stock exchange in Brussels on United Nations World Autism Awareness Day

On Wednesday April 2 at 8.45am, the Bourse in Brussels will hold a bell ringing ceremony at the opening of the day’s trading to mark World Autism Awareness Day. 

Minister for Health, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunity of the Wallonian Government, Eliane Tillieux, will ring the bell alongside numerous guests from Flemish and Wallonian autism organisations and Autism-Europe. 

 
World Autism Awareness Day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 as an annual day to draw attention to the urgent needs of people with autism around the world.
 
During the evenings of Tuesday April 1 and Wednesday April 2, the Bourse will also be lit up in blue as part of the global ‘Light it up blue’ initiative to raise awareness about autism. Around the world, many prominent buildings are lit up in blue on April 2 as part of this initiative, including the Empire State building in New York, the Sydney Opera House, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil and even the pyramids in Egypt. 
 
Bell-ringing ceremonies will also be held at stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Lisbon, Paris and New York. At these ceremonies, representatives of autism organisations will join celebrities and politicians to sound the opening and closing bells of stock exchanges to raise awareness about autism. 
 
Europeans will also hold a range of other events and activities across the continent, including film festivals, art exhibitions, conferences, balloon releases and much more.
 
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Raising awareness of the specific needs of women with autism at the European Parliament

Delegates from the ‘Autism in Pink’ project, together with a group of women with autism and their families, participated in a study visit at the European Parliament last week. The aim was to discuss and raise awareness of the specific needs of women with autism among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). 

 
Participants highlighted that action is urgently required to better understand the gender dimension in autism and the specific issues faced by women and girls with autism. They also emphasised the need to raise awareness of the issues faced by women and girls with autism among professionals in education and health as well as employers to reduce under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis, and reduce discrimination.
 
 
Participants submitted specific recommendations, including:
  • Ensuring the review of EDS 2010-2020 planned for 2016 addresses the gender dimension in disability and autism in particular;
  • Raising a parliamentary question asking how the issue of under-diagnosis of autism in women and girls can be addressed.
Autism in Pink is a European collaborative project to increase the visibility of girls and women with autism which is being conducted by several autism organisations with support from Autism-Europe.
 
More information (English, Lithuanian, Spanish and Portuguese)
 
                  
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Autism-Europe President receives official distinction in Hungary

Autism-Europe President, Zsuzsanna Szilvásy, has received an official distinction from the Hungarian Government for her work on the social inclusion of people with autism as part of her role within Autism-Europe. 

 
Ms Szilvásy has been awarded the Bronze Cross of the Order of Merit  by the President of the Republic of Hungary, János Áder, at a ceremony at the Palace of Arts in Budapest on March 7, 2014.
 
This honour recognises Ms Szilvásy’s leading role in advocating for the rights of people with autism and raising awareness about autism among policy makers at the European level.
 
More information, contact: secretariat(at)autismeurope.org
 
                              
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The Council of Europe condemns France for discrimination against people with autism in education

The Council of Europe has condemned France for failing to fulfil its educational obligations to people with autism under the European Social Charter. 
 
This decision upheld the collective complaint that disability organisations had lodged against the French Government concerning the schooling of children and vocational training of young adults with autism. 
 
The relevant laws related to education in France were analysed by the European Committee of Social Rights, which concluded that:
  • There is a violation of Article 15.1 of the European Social Charter: 
- With regard to the right of children and adolescents with autism to be educated primarily in mainstream schools;
- With regard to the right of young persons with autism to vocational training;
- Because the work done in specialised institutions caring for children and adolescents with autism is not predominantly educational in nature.
  • There is a violation of Article E taken in conjunction with Article 15.1, because families have no other choice than to leave the national territory in order to educate their children with autism in a specialised school, which constitutes a direct discrimination against them.
  • There is a violation of Article E taken in conjunction with Article 15.1, because the limited funds in the State’s social budget for the education of children and adolescents with autism indirectly disadvantages these persons with disabilities.
In Resolution CM/ResChS(2014)2, the Council of Europe calls on France to report on its progress towards improvement in these areas.
 
View the resolution (English only) 
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Thanks a lot to Venite Cantemus Paris 7 Dec 2013 for their support to Autism-Europe !

The concert helped Autism-Europe to support people with autism and their families to advocate for their rights. The proceeds of the event will support our action in Europe, and in particular our "Count Me In" project for promoting the employment in the artistic sector! 

 
The Venite Cantemus concert brought together around 350 choral singers from all over the world to sing Handel’s Messiah on December 7, at the Madeleine Church in Paris.
  
      
           
 
 
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Ask your MEP to sign the written declarations of the European Parliament in support of people with autism

 
There are currently two written declarations in support of the rights of people with autism awaiting signatures from Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Autism-Europe is calling on our members and supporters across Europe to contact MEPs from their own countries and ask them to sign these declarations by March 9, 2014. 
 
The ‘Written declaration on protection of people with autism from bullying’ (0024/2013) highlights the need for:
  • awareness of bullying issues for people with autism;
  • research and statistics on the subject of bullying experienced by people with autism;
  • exchange of best practice examples of legislation and police recording of hate crimes against people with disabilities.
 
  • awareness of the lack of education and employment opportunities for people with autism;
  • exchange of best practices and research on the subject of education and employment for people with autism;
  • efforts to increase awareness among public and private employers of the financial support for, and benefits of, employing people with autism.
In Strasbourg Written Declarations can be signed in person at office: LOW T2024. 
 
Between sessions Written Declarations can be signed at office: PHS 07C087.
 
 
Find the MEPs for your country here:
 
Scroll down to find their contact details on the right hand side or contact Autism-Europe if you would like a list of email addresses for MEPs in your country.  
 
 
NOTE: A written declaration of the European Parliament is a short principled document (maximum 200 words) that can give direction to the institutions of the European Union and EU Member States. It is not, however, a binding document.
 
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Venite Cantemus concert singers raised their voices for autism

The Venite Cantemus concert brought together around 350 choral singers from all over the world to sing Handel’s Messiah on December 7, at the Madeleine Church in Paris.

 
The event helped Autism-Europe to support people with autism and their families to advocate for their rights. It raised funds to contribute to the project Count Me In, in which Autism-Europe is a partner. 
 
Count Me In is a European project that aims to encourage the inclusion of people with autism in the arts and cultural sector, and to help them to find employment opportunities. The project will promote best practices and develop a training course on the inclusion of people with special needs in this sector that will be distributed to relevant organisations around Europe.
 
The concert took place under the direction of British conductor Gregory Rose. Accommodation deals and best guided tours were also arranged in English and French.
 
Autism-Europe would like to thank Venite Cantemus for their initiative and their generous support! 
 
For more information : www.venitecantemus.com
 
Or 
 
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10th Autism-Europe International Congress held in Budapest in September

The10th Autism-Europe International Congress was held in Budapest, Hungary, on September 26 to 28, 2013.

Around 1,100 parents, professionals and people with autism from 73 countries around the world gathered to discuss topics following the congress theme of  ‘new dimensions for autism’, in which people with autism and their families can fully enjoy their human rights and a better quality of life.

This congress was an historic occasion, marking both the 10th Autism-Europe International Congress, and the 30th anniversary of the founding of Autism-Europe.

The congress was organised by Autism-Europe member, the Hungarian Autistic Society.

Autism-Europe’s congresses are held every three years and the next one will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2016, hosted by the National Autistic Society. 

Copies of the presentations will soon be available on the congress website: http://www.autismcongress2013.eu/  (local organisers expect the presentations to be available online by the end of October).

Some photos from the congress have also been posted on Autism-Europe's Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/autismeurope.AE  

 

Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Denmark, will open the 10th Autism-Europe International Congress

Princess Marie of Denmark will give the opening speech and participate in the official opening ceremony at the 10th Autism-Europe International Congress, which will be held on September 26–28, 2013 in Budapest (Hungary).

During the congress, Princess Marie will meet international scientists and other distinguished professionals within the field of autism. The 10th Autism-Europe International Congress will especially focus on the latest developments in the field, including genetics, diagnosis, early intervention, treatments, education, support, employment, rights and policies.

During her visit to Budapest, Princess Marie will also meet the president of Autism-Europe, Zsuzsanna Szilvasy,  who will present the work Autism-Europe is doing.

To read more about the congress: http://www.autismcongress2013.eu/

For further information, contact President of Autism Denmark, Heidi Pernille Thamestrup, on: +45 26 20 16 58
 

Save the date for the 10th Autism-Europe International Congress!

Dear friends,

The 10th Autism-Europe International Congress will be held on September 26–28, 2013 in Budapest (Hungary).

The 10th Autism-Europe International Congress will focus on the most recent developments across the field of autism, including causes, genetics, diagnosis, early intervention, treatments, education, support, employment, rights and policies, among many more.

Check out the congress programme:

http://www.autismcongress2013.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=59&lang=en

(Scroll down to find the 'draft preliminary programme' link)

Please note that from September 15th registrations are only possible at the congress venue in Budapest on September 26th, 2013.
 
Autism-Europe’s congresses are traditionally held every three years. This one will be an historic occasion, marking both the 10th Autism-Europe International Congress and the 30th anniversary of Autism-Europe.

More information on the congress and the registration: http://www.autismcongress2013.eu/

Yours sincerely,

Hungarian Autistic Society

(on behalf of Autism-Europe)

 

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Europe celebrates World Autism Awareness Day 2013

Several cities across Europe are organising a wide range of events - from bell-ringing ceremonies to landmark buildings lit up in blue - to mark the United Nations’ designated World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Find out more about the 'Autism. More common than you think' campaign and activities across Europe for World Autism Awareness Day in 2013.

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Early bird registration now open for 10th Autism-Europe International Congress in Budapest

The 10th Autism-Europe International Congress will be held from September 26-28, 2013, in Budapest. The Congress will focus on the latest developments in the field of autism, including causes, genetics, diagnosis, early intervention, evidence-based therapies, education, support, employment, rights and policies.

The programme will also include sessions on new developments in information and communications technologies, best practices in the delivery of services, and ensuring quality of life for people with autism as they get older. The Congress will explore ‘new dimensions for autism’ in which people with autism and their families can fully enjoy their human rights and a better quality of life.

The Congress aims to reach as wide an audience as possible, including professionals, parents and self-advocates. Autism-Europe’s congresses are traditionally held every three years. This year’s Congress is an historic occasion, marking both the 10th anniversary of the Congress, and the 30th anniversary of Autism-Europe.

Early bird registration prices are available until May 31, 2013.

More information & register for the Congress (English & Hungarian only)


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Caution over linking autism with school massacre in United States

Numerous media reports have claimed that, Adam Lanza, the young man who killed 20 children 6 adults at an elementary school in the United States on Friday, had Asperger syndrome.

While claims that Lanza had Asperger syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder) remain unverified at this point in time, Autism-Europe urges the wider community to be cautious about making links between autism and violent crime.

Read the full press release

 
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Towards an Autism Strategy for Europe event at European Parliament, November 6, 2012

On November 6, 2012, the 'Towards and Autism Strategy for Europe' seminar will be held at the European Parliament to present successful national strategies for autism and discuss the possibility of a Europe-wide strategy for autism.

As any family affected by autism will tell you, searching for and coordinating services for a person with autism – such as adapted education and training, and psychological, medical and dental services can be a full-time job.

There are currently around 3.3 million people in the European Union who have autism, yet in most European countries there are not enough basic services to meet their needs, and coordination of services at national level is often poor.

Wales and some other European nations have developed successful national strategies to identify and meet these needs. By coordinating national policy across a range of fields – education, health, justice, employment, social care, research and others – they ensure a better quality of life for people with autism.

The seminar on November 6, presented by Autism-Europe, in conjunction with Autism Cymru and the Celtic Nations Autism Partnership, aims to facilitate the development of strategies for autism around Europe.

Read the full press release

What will happen to 3.3 million older people with autism when their parents have passed away?

During the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, parents of children with autism are calling for increased funding and services to support older people who have autism.

There are currently around 3.3 million people in the European Union who have autism, yet in most European countries there are no (or very few) residences and services for older people with autism. 

Read the full press release

More information on the event & report on autism and ageing

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Run (or walk) to improve quality of life for people with autism in the Brussels Marathon

Want to get fit, support a good cause and have fun, but don’t have much spare time? Do all three at once by running (or walking) the Brussels Marathon for Autism-Europe !

The Brussels Marathon (42km), half marathon (21km) and mini marathon (4km) will be held on Sunday October 7, 2012.

If you are not a keen runner, participating in the mini-marathon (just 4km) is a great way to enjoy a fun day out, increase your fitness and support the important work of Autism-Europe.

More information

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Autism-Europe self-advocate explains the challenges of self-representation

Autism-Europe board member and self-advocate, Pietro, recently gave a presentation on the challenges of self-representation to the European disability movement.

The presentation, titled ‘Self-determination, representation and personal autonomy for persons with autism requiring intensive support in advocating for themselves’ explains the challenges faced by people with autism in representing themselves as self-advocates. It also provides some guidance on the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that relate to providing support in decision-making.

Pietro, (whose surname is withheld for privacy reasons), gave the presentation at the European Disability Forum’s Annual General Assembly in Copenhagen. The presentation was given as part of a forum on improving self-determination for people with disabilities in Europe who live in community care centres and institutions. 

View presentation

Donata Vivanti talks about why people with Autism need freedom of movement in Europe

Today, the European Disability forum will launch the 'Freedom Guide'; a guide to the barriers to freedom of movement faced by people with disabilities in Europe.

Donata Vivanti, Vice President of the European Disability Forum (and former President of Autism-Europe) talks about why freedom of movement must be increased:

 

 
The European Commission is currently working on the European Accessibility Act - a new law to make Europe more accessible to people with disabilities.
 
The Freedom Guide is a key tool in the design of a barrier-free Europe, and a great reference to understand the European disability movement's vision for the European Accessibility Act.
 
It is the result of consutation with the European disability movement, including experts from NGOs, industry and academics.
 
The Freedom guide is available in English (and a word alternative version on request from EDF).

The Disability Intergroup and the European Disability Forum organises the official launch Wednesday 29 February at 7pm (ASP Building Ground Floor) in the European Parliament in Brussels.

More information about the official launch

Representing people with Autism at the European Day of Persons with Disabilities

To mark the European Day of Persons with Disabilities, the European Commission organised in cooperation with the European Disability Forum (EDF) a policy conference in Brussels on 1 and 2 December. During two days, representatives from the disability movement, experts with disabilities and decision-makers focus on the effects of the crisis: “Europe’s way out of the crisis: the disability rights perspective.” Representatives of Autism-Europe were there to call on access to education and employment for persons with ASD.

 For more see the press-release

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Budget cuts and financial crisis: Short-term savings equals long-term problems for people with Autism

Amidst the recent budget cuts and austerity measures being implemented in many European countries, people with Autism are suffering significant cuts to the basic services they depend on for housing, health and education. How long can we go on cutting spending on the most vulnerable people in society? Can sacrificing human rights to save money possibly achieve positive outcomes? Autism-Europe warns that the long-term costs may exceed the short-term savings, and meanwhile people with Autism and other disabilities will pay a high price.

 
Read the full article PDF
 

European Days of Autism 2011: A call to governments to stop forcing the most vulnerable people to bear the cost of the ongoing financial crisis

During the ‘European Days of Autism’ to be held throughout Europe this October, the European Union and national governments are being called upon to fulfill their recent commitments to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). 

Amidst the recent budget cuts and austerity measures being implemented in many European countries, people with Autism Spectrum Disorders have seen significant cuts to the basic services they depend on for housing, health and education.

 In Italy, for example, €10 billion in funding will be cut in 2012-2013 from the regional and local health and social services. These cuts include the cancellation of the ‘National fund for persons with dependency needs’, which will deprive of all forms of assistance to 20% of persons with disabilities living in the north of the country, 30% living in the centre and 50% living in the south, from 2012 onwards[i].
 
For more, see the press-release.
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‘ACEbook’ project helps adults with Autism across Europe to make friends

 27/09/2011

Results from a research project have shown that Facebook can be used to help adults with Autism to establish social connections and make friends.

The two-year Autism Connections Europe (ACE) research project (nicknamed the ‘ACEbook project’), has helped people with Autism to overcome social fears, and improve their social and communication skills, moods and level of independence.

The project enabled adults with Autism to meet and form friendships based on common interests through Facebook, and then to meet regularly in person in various locations around Europe, to deepen the friendships they formed online.

Under normal circumstances, many people with Autism Spectrum Disorders find it very difficult to establish social connections and maintain friendships... 

For more, see the press-release.

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Annual General Assembly – 16 April 2011 – Athens - Greece

Autism-Europe’s  Annual General Assembly will take place, on Saturday 16 April 2011, in the afternoon, from 14.00-18.00.


 

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World Autism Awareness Day

 

2 April 2011

2011 – Autism-Europe celebrates World Autism Awareness Day with a Global Bell Ringing in cooperation with Autism Speaks and NYSE Euronext.

Autism-Europe in cooperation with Autism Speaks and NYSE Euronext highlighted the annual World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), a day prior to WAAD, and Autism Awareness Month with a global bell ringing across NYSE Euronext markets in Europe and the United States for the second year.

For more information, please see the press-releases
 

 

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Videos of IX International Congress of Autism-Europe “A Future for Autism” are online!

 

The IX International Congress of Autism-Europe “A Future for Autism” was held in Catania, Italy, 8-10 October 2010. Thanks to the participation of 18 keynote speakers, 70 selected speakers and 185 selected poster exhibitors, 1200 international delegates, researchers, professionals, parents and self-advocates were provided with a unique opportunity for updating and sharing knowledge on a wide range of issues concerning Autism.
 
Autism-Europe considers that it is essential to give everyone access to up-to-date and evidence-based information on autism. We are therefore delighted to announce that videos of presentations of the Congress are now available for free on internet. To access them, visit the congress website: click here

 

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"A Future for Autism" - European Days of Autism 2010 : Autism-Europe calls on a better acknowledgement of the needs of elderly people with ASD

 

 The European Days of Autism were celebrated at the beginning of October 2010 together with the Autism-Europe IX International Congress in Catania entitled “A Future for Autism” that gathered 1300 participants from around the world. On that occasion, Autism-Europe raised awareness about the fact that nowadays persons with autism and their families very often lack the support they need to live a dignified life. As the population is ageing, persons with Autism and their families are faced with very complex difficulties and a lack of adapted services. Action is therefore required to ensure that persons with ASD benefit from the same opportunities as the rest of the European citizens. Evelyne Friedel, Autism-Europe’s President, welcomed the recent innovations in the field of evidence-based treatments and interventions for persons with ASD. Referring to European Council’s Committee of Ministers recommendation on ageing and persons with disabilities, she also called on Member States to take concrete actions to improve the conditions of life of  persons with autism – in particular elderly people - and to cooperate at European and International level to promote the exchange of information and best practices.
 
 
Read the press release of the European Days of Autism 2010, here.
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Fostering employment of persons with Autism

The European Commission has published a Call for Proposals for pilot projects on employment of persons with autism spectrum disorders.

The aim of this call for proposals is to fund projects which develop or test approaches to improve access to and retention in the open labour market for persons with ASD in a practical manner.
 
The deadline to apply is 19 August 2010. Click here For more information.
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EUROPEAN UNION: Treaty of Lisbon - Taking Europe into the 21st Century :

See the website: http://europa.eu

treaty of lisbon

EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Work Programme 2009

See the website: http://ec.europa.eu

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Non Discrimination and Diversity - PROGRESS 2007-2013

See the webste: http://ec.europa.eu

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION: Academic Network of European Disability Experts

See the website: www.disability-europe.net

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COUNCIL of EUROPE adopts Disability Action Plan 2006 - 2015

See the website of the Council of Europe

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION: People with Disabilities

See the website: http://ec.europa.eu

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UNITED NATIONS: Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

See the website: www.un.org

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IX Autism-Europe International Congress: "Touches of Autism"

Autism-Europe is happy to announce the parallel event “Touches of Autism
the V International Art Exhibition of People with Autism.
Organised by Autismo Burgos, the Art Exhibition is a special feature of the
IX International Congress Autism-Europe.

For more information:
http://www.autismoburgos.org/

 

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