As autism month comes to a close, the national autism charity of Ireland, AsIAm has launched ‘Say Yes Day’ to raise urgent funds to help the families of Irish people living with autism.
‘Say Yes Day’ will go beyond raising necessary funds and aims to ensure autism understanding and acceptance will be at the forefront throughout the year, and not just in April.
The charity says this will go a long way in improving the current stats that show 50% of people living with autism experience bullying, 85% experience unemployment and 8 in 10 experience a mental health condition, much of these issues are a result of social exclusion.
Taking place on Friday, April 23, the aim of the day is to raise urgent funds to help the families of the 1 in 65 Irish people who are living with autism and in need of vital supports during this time.
What AsIAm want people to do on April 23:
- Text AsIAm to 50300 to donate €4
- Then post a picture of yourself/record a video with a raised palm with the word “Yes” written on it on your social channels
- Include a caption saying: Say Yes to Autism Acceptance. Text AsIAm to 50300 to donate €4.
Covid-19 has taken a toll on the fundraising efforts of AsIAm while simultaneously causing a 280% increase in queries to the service from families across the country.
The past year has been extremely difficult for people on the autism spectrum, the loss of routine, the closure of support services and the anxiety inducing news cycle has taken a severe toll which is why this fundraising effort is vital at this time.
Commenting on ‘Say Yes Day’ CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris said: “Each year, throughout Autism month we aim to raise funds that will ensure we can provide much needed services throughout the year, with Covid—19 this has been more difficult than ever this year.
"With ‘Say Yes Day’ we hope people will dig deep and say yes to both donating to AsIAm and also to autism acceptance. We want ‘Say Yes Day’ to ensure autism month is just the beginning and autism acceptance is promoted all year round."
AsIAm carry out work in two key areas: Community Support (advice, guidance, advocacy) and capacity building within the autism community and Training and Accreditation (working with businesses, public services and communities to help them become more inclusive).
The funds raised from ‘Say Yes Day’ will go towards providing vital services including support, guidance and advocacy to families all over Ireland, public autism education programmes and specific supports to families post Covid with the struggle of returning to normal. In addition, AsIAm will continue to educate the government and communities on the needs people living with autism have and advocate for reasonable supports to be provided both during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu said: "We’re proud of the work we do with AsIAm to make our stores and communities more autism-friendly and inclusive. Through our partnership we have seen the invaluable work AsIAm do for the autism community and the essential services they provide.
"For the first ever ‘Say Yes Day’ we encourage people in communities around Ireland to join us and Say Yes to Autism Acceptance and donate to AsIAm to help them to continue to provide services to the autism community.”
As part of ‘Say Yes Day’, AsIAm is asking the public to donate on asiam.ie/donate and share #Sayyesday on social channels. In addition, people can still help develop their understanding of autism by picking up a “SAY YES TO AUTISM ACCEPTANCE” guide in their local SuperValu stores across Ireland.
10 ways you can help to say Yes to Autism Acceptance:
Being aware of the sensory environment
Fill in the gaps
Watch your language
Challenge stigma and bullying
Listening and learning
Seeing our abilities