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Autism-Europe’s Council of Administration meeting in Brussels

On 26-27 November 2022 Autism-Europe’s members of Council of Administration convened in Brussels to hear about the latest developments at the EU level, exchange knowledge and steer AE future activities. Members from 15 countries joined with roughly half of the participants on site and the other half remotely connected.

The meeting kicked off with an overview of AE activities in 2022 geared towards supporting the launch of the EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021 – 2030, sharing expertise, building understanding of autism and the implementation of various EU projects. Pietro Cirrincione, AE elected representative on the board of the European Disability Forum (EDF), provided feedback on EDF board meeting in Ireland earlier the same week. Pietro highlighted the importance of contributing to EDF’s work, including on legal capacity and artificial intelligence (IA).

Training on EU Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021 – 2030 (ESRPD)

AE advocacy officer, Christian Takow, then delivered a training to provide further insights into topical flagship initiatives of the European Commission’s ESRPD 2021-2030 and other relevant policies. The training was dedicated to the EU Disability Card, the AccessibleEU as well as the recent launch of the Employment Disability Package. The training also gave an outline of the main components of the new European Care Strategy developed from the action plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Outcomes of AE’s 13th International Congress and plans towards the 2025 edition

Tomasz Michalowicz, AE’s treasurer and president of JiM Foundation presented the outcomes of the recent Autism-Europe International Congress held in Krakow. Over 1300 participants attended both on site and remotely Autism-Europe’s first ever hybrid international congress and despite difficult circumstances the congress delivered on its promises to offer a rich programme where various perspectives from the autism community were featured.  

Adam Harris from AsIam then presented the first steps of the planning for the 2025 edition in Dublin, and notably an initial proposal for consulting the autistic community on its theme.

Reflecting on 40 years of Autism Europe and the future of society for autistic people

Peter Watts, the new representative of our UK member National Autistic Society (NAS) presented the Moonshot project. The Moonshot project was launched at the start of 2022 to get a better understanding of what a society should look and feel like for autistic people and their families.  This vision will help the NAS, and others, to better target our work and be more impactful.  

Following up on this presentation, AE CA members then discussed AE future campaigning plans and the celebration of 40th years of Autism Europe in 2023 with AE communication manager, Carmen Clemente.

Fostering social services for excellence for autistic people

Ahead of the launch of the European Commission’s initiative on social services for excellence in 2024, CA members shared their insights into rights and quality-based services.  It was decided to create a dedicated working group to draft a guide related to the Framework for social services of excellence for persons with disabilities.

Improving on Health Education for Young People with Disabilities

As a side event Camelia Olaru-Raita from the Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation (RAA) presented together with Eirini Symeonidou, AE’s Research and Project Officer the results of the Health Education for Young People with Disabilities (HEDY) project. In this Erasmus+ Project where AE and project coordinator RAA partnered with the State Diagnostic and Counselling Centre (SDCC) from Iceland, IASIS from Greece and the Inclusive Education School Center Nr. 2 (CSEI) from Romania to develop a training course for teachers educating students with disabilities including those on the autism spectrum in health, hygiene and sexual education.