On May 6 and 7, 2023 Autism-Europe held its Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Council of Administration (CA) in a hybrid format and around 40 representatives met in Stockholm, Sweden. It has been an intense and fruitful meeting, particularly heartwarming with the celebration of AE´s 40 year’s anniversary.
On Friday May 5, AE members visited the office of the Swedish Disability Rights Federation to attend a workshop hosted by our member association Autism Sweden. It was a great opportunity to learn about the activities and priorities of our Swedish member and learn more about the situation of autistic people and their families in Sweden. Topics discussed included access to education and lifelong service provision, the recently adopted Swedish national guidelines for autism. We also had an exchange about gender bias in autism diagnosis, and our host highlighted the particular challenges faced by autistic girls and women, as well as for the elderly on the autism spectrum.
On Saturday May 6, the AGA adopted AE’s 2023 work programme and budget, as well as the report of activities from 2022, developed under the EU Citizens, Equality, Rights, and Values Programme, as well as updates regarding its various EU projects.
Inna Sergiyenko, from our Ukrainian member Child With Future presented the preliminary results of a survey they conducted on the impact of the war in Ukraine and the situation of autistic refugees and their families.
In the afternoon, AE members discussed the upcoming European Parliament Elections in 2024 and the key priorities of the autism community. Members also exchanged ideas for the consultation process for AE’s next World Autism Awareness Day campaigns.
This year, AE´s network continues growing as the AGA welcomed new members: Federació Catalana d’Autisme (Spain) as an affiliated member, AO ”SOS Autism” Moldova and Together and Healthy Public Union (Azerbaijan) as associated members.
On Sunday May 7, during the CA, AE’s Irish member AsIam presented the latest updates regarding the next Autism-Europe International Congress 2025 to take place in Dublin, Ireland. Romane GARCIA from Autism Switzerland was coopted to the Council of administration.
We were delighted to celebrate our 40th anniversary with three former presidents of AE, Zsuzsanna Szilvasy, Evelyne Friedel and Donata Vivanti, side by side with AE’s current president, Harald Neerland and our members. They shared their insights regarding the evolution of Autism-Europe over the past decades, how the organisation has grown and what are next challenges for the autism community.
AE wants to warmly thank our members for participating this weekend at the meetings in person and online, for their work and efforts to continue working for the rights of autistic people across Europe.