Youth PanelAsIAm is delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the Department of Justice and Equality, under the Disability Awareness Grant Scheme 2015, to develop an Autism Awareness Campaign aimed at 15-22 year olds. The campaign will be designed and implemented over the next 5 months. The campaign will be delivered in partnership with a number of local Autism Support groups including  EVA (Ennis Voices for Autism). Hxarts (Harold’s Cross), PRISM (Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown), TPASG (Tallaght Autism Parent Support Group) and Wicklow Triple A Alliance

The purpose of this campaign is to create a greater understanding, respect and appreciation for those with Autism in youth settings such as sports and activity clubs, social venues, university and work places.

We see this campaign as vitally important, as a generation of young people with Autism are reaching adolescence, seeking social opportunities and pursuing employment. People with Autism do so much to adapt to the way neurotypical people think and interact so it is really important other young people also have an understanding of what they can do to be more inclusive of people with Autism

The campaign will have both online and offline elements and we are very excited at what we can achieve!

We need you though!

As always, AsIAm wants this campaign to be directed by those who know the most about the challenges and strengths of young people with Autism – young people with Autism, of course!

AsIAm is pleased to announce that to help us plan this campaign, and the work of our organisation in general, we will be establishing a Youth Leadership Team. This team will be made up of young people with a diagnosis of Autism, aged 15-22, and will be facilitated by the team.

Members of the Youth Leadership Team will:

  • Help direct the production of our youth information campaign, funded by the Department of Justice and Equality
  • Work with neurotypical teenagers to identify how we can help build mutual understanding
  • Help build and design the materials for the campaign.
  • Help lead the campaign in their local community / college / work place
  • Regularly meet / communicate with the AsIAm Team on matters related to our work educating other young people or setting up campaigns/programmes that are related to young people with Autism.
  • Receive training in self-advocacy, producing campaign materials, blogging, making video and n telling your story including media training (optional)
  • Help represent AsIAm at events / interviews / conferences relevant to young people (optional)

We will select a cross-section of young people from across the country to participate on the programme, with due regard for a regional spread, age range, gender balance and suitability and time commitment.

We also realise that for some people with Autism, parents and siblings are their voice. We are committed to ensuring that those who cannot advocate for themselves are represented in the process and will be establishing a Family Focus Group to help guide this campaign, in tandem with the Youth Leadership Team.

Image courtesy of Ambro /