NEW YORK — On World Autism Awareness Day observance at the United Nations in New York, autistic persons and their advocates have this message: communication is a basic human right.
According to the National Autism Association, while 40 percent of children with autism do not speak. But that does not mean they are not thinking.
Thanks to new technologies – non-speaking autistics — like David Savarese now have the ability to communicate using assistive devices such as cell phone or iPad apps.
Savarese says non-speaking autistics have felt segregated because of communication barriers, but thanks to these assistive devices they can truly speak for themselves now.
“We have just as much right as anyone else and perhaps a more urgent need to learn to read and write – the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities calls on every country to offer us the assistive technology needed to actively participate in every aspect of life.”
Advocates for the rights of persons with autism are calling on states to promote the access to and the availability of such technologies at an affordable cost, as well as to promote research and development of assistive technologies.