Since 2008, every April 2nd, the world has commemorated the World Autism Awareness Day. This year, the commemoration is themed, "Assistive Technologies, Active Participation" In connection with the commemoration, the United Nations (UN) urged the world community to ensure the participation of people with autism in a bid to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In its official website, the United Nations says that for many people on the autism spectrum, access to inexpensive assisting technology is a prerequisite for being able to use their human rights and participate fully in society. Thus, this contributes to the realization of the SDGs. The assisting technology can reduce or eliminate barriers to their participation on the basis of equality with others.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires countries participating in the Convention to promote the availability and use of the assisting technology at affordable costs. They must also facilitate access to assisting technology by promoting technology research and development.
While technology continues to grow, there are still major obstacles to the use of the assisting technology, including high costs, lack of availability, lack of awareness of their potential, and lack of training in its use. Data from the United Nations shows that in some developing countries, more than 50 percent of people with disabilities who need assisting device cannot receive it.
In Indonesia in 2015, according to the Kompas Daily (11/3), there was 1 in 250 children with autism and there were approximately 12,800 children with autism and 134,000 people overall. Unfortunately in Indonesia, there is no accurate data regarding the increase in children with autism every year. However, handling autism in Indonesia is the same as other countries. Currently, there has been a lot of information circulating regarding the handling of autism in Indonesia, such as the opening of various therapy centers, the formation of various foundations that care about handling children with autism, and there are some seminars from home and abroad that discuss autism.
Handling that was once considered impossible, finally, can be applied to children who have symptoms of autism from an early age. Despite the fact, fewer parties are able to implement it with the right method, especially in Indonesia.
This is the importance of the initiative and the role of the government in regulating services related to autism both in the form of physical facilities and laws. Thus, all people with autism get the rights to coped with. So, Indonesia can finally carry out its commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially related to people with disabilities namely Leaving No One Behind.(rini/rhm)