The Bulat Utemuratov Foundation celebrated Autism Awareness Month in Kazakhstan with an innovative hybrid communication campaign.
May 5, 2023 – The Bulat Utemuratov Foundation celebrated global Autism Awareness Month in Kazakhstan with an innovative hybrid communication campaign and an inspiring level of engagement. From digital street boards to photo exhibitions in public spaces and other original events, the Foundation contributed to the global effort to raise autism awareness.
“In 2022, there were 12,087 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in Kazakhstan. Like people without a diagnosis, people with ASD have strengths, weaknesses, and unique talents. Our mission is to help them cultivate and manage those qualities so that they can actively participate in society and lead fulfilling lives,” said Dr. Almaz Sharman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation.
The Foundation kicked off its autism awareness campaign by inaugurating its 12th and largest autism center in Astana, which will have the capacity to host 900 children per year. The Asyl Miras Autism Centers provide early intervention programs for children with autism up to 18 years of age. Over 15,000 children have received help as part of the program since 2015.
Additionally, the Bulat Utemuratov Foundation organized a photo exhibition in a mall in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, offering visitors a closer look at the lives of children with ASD. The Foundation also teamed up with the urban innovation company Citix to set up smartboards in Almaty and Astana streets that provide information on autism symptoms, and advice for parents.
Online, the Foundation ran a series of interviews with autism experts that were published on social media, debunking myths about autism and sharing ways in which society can become more inclusive.
With the aim of raising awareness about autism and promoting an inclusive culture, the Foundation hosts the annual “Autism. The World of Opportunities” international conference in Almaty. In 2022, world-renowned experts like Connie Kasari and Stephen Shore took part in the conference. In April 2023, the Foundation shared its experience in implementing evidence-based practices in autism centers in Kazakhstan at the International Conference for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ICAN) in Dubai. To advance global knowledge about autism, the Foundation also supported this year’s Annual Meeting of INSAR (International Society for Autism Research) in Stockholm.