The Bulat Utemuratov Foundation celebrated Autism Awareness Month in Kazakhstan with an innovative hybrid communication campaign
ALMATY, Kazakhstan, May 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bulat Utemuratov Foundation celebrated Autism Awareness Month in Kazakhstan with an innovative hybrid communication campaign and inspiring level of engagement. From digital panels on the street to photo exhibitions in public spaces and other original acts, the Foundation contributed to the global effort to raise awareness about autism.
"In 2022, there were 12,087 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in Kazakhstan. Like people without a diagnosis, people with ASD have unique strengths, weaknesses, and talents. Our mission is to help them cultivate and manage those qualities so that they can actively participate in society and lead a fulfilling life," said Dr. Almaz Sharman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation.
The Foundation kicked off its autism awareness campaign by inaugurating its 12th and largest autism center in Astana, which will have the capacity to accommodate 900 children a year. Asyl Miras Autism Centers offer early intervention programs for autistic children up to 18 years of age. More than 15,000 children have received help under the program since 2015.
In addition, the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation organized a photo exhibition in a shopping center in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, to give visitors a closer look at the lives of children with ASD. The Foundation also partnered with urban innovation company Citix to install smart boards on the streets of Almaty and Astana with information on autism symptoms and advice for parents.
Online, the Foundation conducted a series of interviews with autism experts that were posted on social media, debunking myths about autism and sharing ways society can be more inclusive.
With the aim of raising awareness of autism and promoting an inclusive culture, the Foundation annually organizes the international conference "Autism. The World of Opportunities" in Almaty. In 2022, world-renowned experts like Connie Kasari and Stephen Shore participated in the conference. In April 2023, the Foundation shared its experience in applying evidence-based practices in autism centers in Kazakhstan at the International Conference on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ICAN) in Dubai. To advance global knowledge about autism, the Foundation also supported the INSAR (International Society for Autism Research) Annual Meeting in Stockholm this year.
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