Pan-African Experiences of Autism: Transforming Rights into Reality – A Practical Conference


Pan-African Experiences of Autism Conference

Click on the link below for the full Conference Programme as a PDF

Pan-African Experiences of Autism Conference Leaflet


There are very few studies on autism in the African context but it is clear that specialist autism support services are limited across the continent – and in some areas are non-existent. Just 53 publications were identified in a recent review of research into autism in Africa (Franz et al, March 2017), but findings suggest a substantial need for large-scale clinical, training, research and awareness-raising programmes to improve the lives of people who live with autism in Sub-Saharan Africa. The UN Secretary-General has urged the international community to focus on autism globally, to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support structures.

Globally many autistic children and adults are living difficult lives, denied education, support and acceptance, and often prevented from participating in family and community life. In resource-poor settings in particular, the lack of opportunities for support and education, accompanied by the profound and isolating stigma that can accompany disability, can put individuals and families in intolerable and often dangerous situations.

Generating Support & Action for Change

To genuinely improve the everyday lives of people living with autism there is an urgent need for increased support for awareness-raising programmes and for sharing the latest developments in good practice, including in education, in research and in social care. As elsewhere, this complex process of social change necessarily involves multiple agencies – within the education sector, at NGO level, from within the community and at government policy level.

This is a practical conference aimed at developing working partnerships to transform rights into reality. The conference will bring together a selection of best practice and perspectives from African countries, with the aim of providing opportunities for individuals, organisations and others to share experiences, information and to plan genuine strategies for transformative action.

The event will look at what is working, how we can strengthen, support and widen best practice, what research needs should be prioritised, identifying resources and forming partnerships to build capacity in education, training, social care, awareness-raising, and to explore future networking possibilities.

The conference will be aimed firmly at action and at developing future collaborative partnerships – international, continental, regional and national – to contribute towards the enhancement of capacity.

If you are interested in attending the event please outline your interest in a sentence or two and email:

There is no charge to attend the Conference.