The Iran Autism Association with support of the health department of the municipality of Tehran held the 20+3 event on May 6, 2023, with the aim of advocating for the needs of the autism community in Iran. The event brought together 20 organizations that serve the autism community indirectly and three main ministries, including the “Ministry of Health and Medical Education” the “Ministry of Education”, and the “Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare”, that can directly relate to autism.
More than 1,000 individuals with autism and their families attended the event and shared their difficulties and challenges. Being unaware of autism and the necessity of public training, the lack of adequate autism schools and care centers as well as autism-friendly public spaces, the high cost of rehabilitation sessions, and the need for full insurance, and the lack of supportive rules and regulations were among the main concerns mentioned by parents.
The event also announced the start of construction of the first comprehensive autism center in Iran by the Iran Autism Association, which will provide much-needed educational, rehabilitation, clinical, and dental services, as well as welfare and care centers.
In addition, the event called for governmental organizations to set precise policies and rules as well as proper activities in favor of the autism community in Iran. In this event, officials had the opportunity to see and hear autism individuals’ difficulties, which they face in daily and social life.
Eventually, officials pledged to address the needs of the autism community. In this regard,
Some parliamentarians and City Council members also attended and promised to accompany people with autism in a way that all members of the autism community could enjoy their rights in Iran.
The 20+3 event was a significant step towards raising awareness and advocating for the needs of the autism community in Iran.