Open Your Eyes: International Autism Awareness Project | April 2000

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Black text on yellow background. Full text below.

Open Your Eyes 

International Autism Awareness Project

The Hear-Their-Silence Rally held in Washington DC on April 8, 2000 was tremendous. The many and various agencies which joined together to ensure the roaring success of the rally should be justifiably proud of themselves. 

Our particular congratulations go to Unlocking Autism which spearheaded the Open Your Eyes project, displaying hundreds of pictures of autistic children and adults. AiA simultaneously launched the project in London with displays outside Westminster on St. Margaret’s Street.

Our thanks go to everyone who supported the UK launch by sending in photos of their children – An incredible amount of interest was generated with many members of the public horrified at the sheer numbers of children now being diagnosed.

AiA apologises for not being able to announce the display site in advance. We only heard at the very last minute that we had been granted permission to mount the display on such a prime site, too late to let everyone know.

Please continue to support Open Your Eyes which is an ongoing project designed to keep the pictures and the autism issue in sharp focus.

Whilst the display was on in London, Edinburgh hosted a well supported march presenting a missive to a Member of the Scottish Parliament. The missive was put together by parents and grandparents belonging to various agencies concerned about all aspects of service provision. AiA’s particular contribution naturally centred about the need to recognise the medical aspects of autism at diagnosis, ensuring ongoing, appropriate medical provision and recognising the potential role played by allergy, virus and vaccine in many of the children’s conditions.

Dublin Hope meanwhile, initiated an ambitious awareness project to bring the crisis of numbers to the personal attention of every TD in Ireland.

We still need your pictures to help the decision makers and the public understand the epidemic we are facing and to consider the long term implications. We also need a small donation of £5.00 to cover the administrative costs of creating the displays. No names appear on the pictures which are displayed in birth order and only used for the Open Your Eyes project. We need as many pictures as possible so please copy and distribute this page to as many families affected by autism as you can.

Pictures are scanned and put onto boards, twenty or so to a board. All pictures are displayed in a uniform size of 4.5 inches by 6 inches.  

To participate in the displays please complete the form below and return it together with your child’s photograph and a cheque for £5.00 minimum donation payable to AiA and we will ensure that the world will Hear their silence!

One response to “Open Your Eyes: International Autism Awareness Project | April 2000”

  1. I don’t see anything about Belfast on that list or narrative.

    In the past three years [2019-22] the count of autistic students has been as many as 1 in 22.

    [and yes, I have been reading Ann Dachel and the Loss of Brains Trust. Don’t worry, I still have my brains – if probably not the trust!]


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