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April 8, 2015

8th World Autism Awareness Day celebration with the Theme: Employment: The Autism Advantage


The 8th World Autism Awareness Day celebrations and Light-It-Up Blue Ceremony held last Monday, April 6, 2015 at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. SM Cares Program on Disability Affairs, in partnership with Autism Hearts Philippines, host the local observance of the event with the Theme: Employment: The Autism Advantage.



The event inform the public of the importance of World Autism Awareness Day and employers of the prospects of hiring more individuals with autism.


SM Cares Program Director for Disability Affairs Bien C. Mateo, and  Fashion Designer and Textile Technologist Anthony Cruz Legarda, express that the program focused on the advantages of hiring young people with autism.

Every year, autism organizations around the globe celebrate World Autism Awareness Day to create better understanding of the lives of people with autism and their families.

Autism Hearts Foundation Director Ms. Solinda Bautista and National Council on Disability Affairs Executive Director Ms. Carmen Zubiaga, expresses hope and optimism that with continued work on informing the public about autism and the potentials of people with autism.

The 8th World Autism Awareness celebration hopes for job prospects for people with autism  and more opportunities would open up for them.

As affirmation of the relevance of this event, the UN estimates that more than 80% of adults with autism remain unemployed despite their potential. 


Research suggests that employers are missing out on abilities that that people on the autism spectrum have in greater abundance than ‘neurotypical’ workers do – such as, heightened abilities in pattern recognition and logical reasoning, as well as a greater attention to detail,” it stated.



The hurdles that need to be overcome to unleash this potential include: a shortage of vocational training, inadequate support with job placement, and pervasive discrimination.


The event hosted by news anchor TJ Manotoc, also feature the Filipino Fashion Arts Autism Benefit, where designs by four children with autism will be brought to life in a fashion show by Filipino-American designer Anthony Legarda.
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Two of the country’s most notable designers, Anna India Legaspi and Anthony Cruz Legarda took time to teach and guide selected number of young people with autism to paint on piña cloth.  Their finish products will then be exhibited via the Filipino Fashion Arts Autism Benefit Project for the whole world to see.

Present during the event were four of the five individuals selected to perform the task led by Best Buddies ambassador and Unilab Employee Vico Cham, Nick Huang, Ralph Sy and Nina Bantoto (she was not able to attend the program).


After a parade at the Mall of Asia compound, the event culminates at the Globe, where we're join by other countries in “lighting it up blue” in honor of every individual and family affected by autism.

A project made possible through the Autism Hearts Foundation in cooperation with the Unilab Foundation.

The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (A/RES/62/139) to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of children and adults, who are affected by autism, so they can lead full and meaningful lives.

Photos: Arts Travel Magazine

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