On June 19th 2021, Autism-Europe (AE) held its Annual General Assembly (AGA) online given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restriction. Over 65 member organisations and individuals from 26 different country came together to discuss and vote on AE financial and activities reports. AE welcomed four new member associations to the network. Members also had the opportunity to attend a training on the European Disability Strategy 2021-2030 and learn about the results of the IVEA project. The Council of Administration meeting the next day discussed Autism-Europe’s strategic priorities for the next four years.
During the AGA meeting, members had the opportunity to get insight into the work conducted by Autism-Europe in 2020 and the 2021 work programme. AE draft report on reasonable accommodation in employment for autistic people was introduced and is up for feedback from the members.
This year, Autism-Europe’s network has continued to grow as the AGA elected 4 new members:
- ANGSA – Italy (full member)
- Autism Poland (full member)
- Asperga – Spain (affiliated member)
- Mars Foundation – Hungary (associated member)
AE members benefitted from a training delivered by AE advocacy officer, Christian Takow, on relevant European policies, with a particular focus on the European Commission’s proposal for the 2021-2030 European Disability Rights Strategy.
Important updates regarding the upcoming Autism-Europe International Congress in October 2022 were shared by Congress host organisation, JiM Foundation, a member of Autism-Europe. More information will be available with the launch of the official website of the congress in September 2021.
One of the highlight of the first day was the presentation of the final results of the Erasmus+ project Innovative Vocational Education for Autism project (IVEA). Project coordinator Isabel Cottinelli from Portugal and project IVEA partners from Spain and Hungary shared their experience of developing VET training for autistic people and fostering their access to work. Results of the project will be made widely available through a dedicated application and a European guide.
The next day, the Council of Administration worked on the future priorities of Autism-Europe for the period 2021-2024.