Moving From Autism Awareness to Acceptance - Language of Inclusion


  • Maddy Dever Independent Researcher



Awareness, Acceptance, Language, Stigma, Inclusion


For the last 50 years, April has been celebrated as Autism Awareness Month, and media campaigns and fundraisers have occurred alongside, trying to raise “awareness” of the difficulties and challenges associated with having a family member diagnosed with autism. The stigma that “awareness” continues to foster creates real barriers for Autistics to be seen as more than a stereotype. Many Autistics believe strongly that we need to move past a time of awareness and move to a time of autism “acceptance”. Accepting who we are, and our different ways of thinking, acting, and presenting ourselves to the world. This video and associated transcript will look at how we can move from autism awareness to autism acceptance through a change in the language we use. Moving from words and thoughts that cause exclusion and segregation to words that promote inclusion and accommodation. Changing our language changes the way we think, changing the way we think, changes the way we act, and our actions can bring about change that will allow Autistics to thrive. If we change how we talk about autism in policy, in programs, in research and in media, we will change how autism is conceived of and start to see the barriers around Autistics come down. 


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How to Cite

Dever, M. (2021). Moving From Autism Awareness to Acceptance - Language of Inclusion. Canadian Journal of Autism Equity, 1(1), 23–27.