Wasl announced its support for the 17th annual Autism Awareness Month, which The Dubai Autism Centre launched under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council.
The annual campaign, which has been running since 2006, is aimed at raising awareness of autism and promoting the inclusion of autistic individuals. It includes various activities, such as free diagnosis sessions, workshops, seminars, and events, as well as the lighting up in blue of several Dubai government and private landmarks in support of the cause as part of World Autism Awareness Day.
Wasl’s support is part of its mandate to empower those in need in society and contribute to the overall objectives of the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination.
The campaign also seeks to showcase the creative skills of children with autism through art exhibitions and auctions, with the proceeds supporting the services provided to individuals with autism by the Dubai Autism Centre.
Other supportive activities include art workshops and a series of awareness webinars in schools and public institutions to increase general knowledge and promote a better understanding of the different challenges faced by individuals with autism, emphasising the importance of community support and expertise in achieving inclusion.
The Dubai Autism Centre was founded by a decree in 2001 of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide specialised services for children with autism and support for their families and caregivers — its financial resources are derived from subsidies, donations, and charitable endowments. This year, the Dubai Autism Centre enrolled 150 students in both academic and clinical programmes.