Hundreds of Abu Dhabi residents joined a community stroll to mark World Autism Acceptance month.
The Walk for Inclusion attracted more than 800 people, who walked 2.5 kilometres through the Hudayriyat Heritage Trail.
“The designation of this important occasion has evolved to reflect a shift from awareness to acceptance,” said Talal Al Hashemi, national director of Special Olympics UAE.
“Acceptance is when an autistic person is embraced, given equal opportunities to thrive and can experience connection to other people – and this is where we need to be.”
He said the event also celebrated the contributions, diversity and uniqueness of people with autism.
“It is important for us to not only strive for their inclusion but also to accept them for who they are and celebrate their differences,” Mr Al Hashemi said.
“Autistic individuals have a lot to teach us and walking together shows us that everyone can take steps forward and contribute in their own way.”
The event was organised by Special Olympics UAE in partnership with Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Special Education, Emirates College for Advanced Education and Emirates Autism Society.
It was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.