HA NOI, 4 April 2016 – In line with the World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April, the First Vietnam Autism Awareness Day (VAAD) was celebrated in Ha Noi on 1-2 April.
On the first day, the conference called “Autism in Viet Nam: Current Situation and Challenges” was attended by more than 150 participants, including senior government officials as well as persons with autism and their family members, at the Vietnam-Japan Human Resources Cooperation Center (VJCC) in Ha Noi.
With around 2,000 persons living with autism, their parents and other family members, teachers and supporters, the Vietnam Autism Friendship Games was held on the second day at the Cultural and Sports Center. On behalf of the ASEAN Secretariat, H.E. Mr. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, who witnessed the epoch-making event, expressed his appreciation to the organiser in taking up a leadership role in promoting awareness on autism which according to him links with the core value of ASEAN Community. According to the human rights principles, DSG Vongthep mentioned that “ASEAN will intensify efforts to utilize sports-related activities like this in the next five years as a platform to engage persons with disabilities, including those with autism.”
The organizers and participants responded to one another with their proactive views that VAAD must be one tangible approach to create autism-friendly environment. It was noted that it is a concrete effort towards making persons with autism visible members in the ASEAN Community which strives for the true meaning of togetherness.
The event was organized by the Government of Vietnam through the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs, the Vietnam Autism Network and the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Vietnam Federation on Disability, the ASEAN Autism Network and other partners.