What is World Autism Acceptance Week?
World Autism Acceptance Week is a celebration which encourages us to recognise the need to help improve the quality of life of autistic people. Autism is a neurological condition that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. The week starts on 27 March and culminates on World Autism Awareness Day, Sunday 2 April.
Autism was officially recognised as a spectrum disorder in 1994, and since then, diagnosis in the UK has jumped up by over 700% according to research undertaken by the University of Exeter. This staggering figure highlights just how many undiagnosed people could be facing the associated challenges in their everyday lives, and the significance of the support they require from employers to ease the daily challenges to thrive at work.
This international event strives to raise awareness of the advantages of autism and encourages others to accept differences and support autistic people to lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.
This year, the theme is "colour", and the National Autistic Society is raising awareness and fundraising in a fun and colourful way through initiatives such as colour walks and quizzes! You can find out how to get involved here.
Why is World Autism Acceptance Week so important to MTC Training / OAS?
While misconceptions around autism exist, research by the University of Cambridge has found extensive links between autism and individuals that go on to have rewarding careers in engineering. Autistic people tend to have high levels of concentration, pay close attention to detail and have great technical abilities, making them highly valuable colleagues.
These are just some of the strengths of people on the autistic spectrum. These advantages are often overlooked when employers lack an understanding of autism, and we hope that raising awareness will inspire employers and employees alike to celebrate differences in the workplace and in daily life!
What are we doing to raise awareness at the MTC Training / OAS?
As a training provider, we are committed to raising awareness of autism, making our programme inclusive for all and supporting our autistic learners build a rewarding career in engineering. It's also really important that all of our learners value individuality and support each other's needs.
Throughout World Autism Acceptance Week, and World Autism Month in April, we'll be running some in-centre activities around autism and encouraging open discussions at both of our training centres. Keep an eye on our social media pages, where we will be sharing the facts and what we'll be doing to encourage an inclusive culture!