Autism Europe is a European network which role is to raise awareness on the fundamental rights and needs of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and to promote specific actions aimed at the active inclusion of people with ASD, built on the social model of disability.
Autism Spectrum Disorders result in a significant, lifelong disability, affecting all forms of communication and social interaction with other people and with the world. The degree of autism varies along a dimension of severe to mild, although its effect on personal functioning in daily life is always serious. The majority of persons with Autism or another Autism Spectrum Disorder have learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.
Because of the complexity of their needs, people with ASD represent a particularly excluded population, even among disabled populations themselves and require a mainstreaming approach and specific actions in order to develop those social, communication and functional skills which are crucial in order to achieve the capacity to make individual choices, control over their everyday lives and live an independent adulthood in their community.
Autism-Europe’s statutory mission is to improve the life of all persons with ASD and their families in the European Union. In 1999, AE launched a survey among its members to identify and meet their priorities concerning the actions to be implemented in order to achieve AE’s general goal.
AE members identified the following strategic objectives as their priorities:
- Representing persons with ASD towards all EU institutions
- Promoting the rights and dignity of persons with ASD
- Promoting awareness on the appropriate care, education, and well-being of persons with ASD
- Liaising with other Non-Governmental Organizations sharing similar objectives
- Promoting the exchange of information, good practices and experience.
- In order to implement these long-term objectives, AE has built strategic alliances with its social partners in order to maximise its impact on EU policies and to establish a structured dialogue with the European Institutions.