ALUT, the Israeli Society for Autistic Children is to hold its annual donation day on Monday in conjunction with the launch of an information campaign, “Making Room for Special People.”
On Monday thousands of children are planning to knock on doors throughout the country, asking for contributions to ALUT.
In addition, the non-profit organization is to launch a campaign to highlight recently implemented accessibility regulations that attempt to improve the life of people with “invisible” disabilities – that are not often noticed at first glance, such as autism. The regulations provide an exemption from waiting in line at supermarkets and other venues, an often difficult everyday task, for people with autism and their escorts.
“The regulations provide justice to those with invisible disabilities, many of whom are autistic, and it is usually difficult to discern their disability at first sight. Parents of autistic children avoid visiting public places with the child; this is a situation which is uncomfortable to intolerable for both parent and child,” said Einat Cassuto-Shefi, director-general of ALUT.
The regulations were implemented following a six-year struggle initiated by a group of interested parties. One party being Malki Itzik, a mother of an adult with autism and a managing member of ALUT, along with other organizations.
“The campaign is supposed to inform the public of the existence of the regulations, not from the point of enforcement, but in terms of encouraging an atmosphere of acceptance of the other with tolerance and understanding. The new regulations will encourage those with invisible disabilities to visit public places and use different services with greater comfort, which will of course contribute to integrating them in the environment and in society,” explained Cassuto-Shefi.
The campaign is to be carried out by informational activities and advertisements in the media and in public places. Students from the Tiltan College of Design in Haifa volunteered to promote the regulations by designing a special logo as well as a series of posters that illustrate the law and its significance to the general public.
According to the ALUT website, over 8,000 individuals in Israel have been diagnosed with autism and statistics show that the numbers will constantly grow. Over 250 infants are diagnosed with Autism each year in Israel.
Donations to ALUT can be made on the website or by phone at 1-800-855-558.