Jakarta – Commemorating Autism Awareness Week, the London School Center for Autism Awareness (LSCAA) held the 13th Autism Awareness Festival entitled “Inclusivity in Diversity”. In this event, virtual seminars and donation activities were held through competitions, the Folklore Storytelling Competition (2 participants), Music Competition (20 participants), Food Photo Competition (18 participants), and ended with an Art Performance (15 performers) and Competition Announcement. . The series of the 13th Autism Awareness Festival will be held virtually on April 19-25, 2021 through the Zoom platform, and broadcast on Youtube LSCAA. This festival was initiated by LSCAA to continue to increase awareness about Autism. Judges for the Music Competition were Endang Purnomo, S.Si., Josef Radel Lopez, BMME., And Patricia R. Vicky Sihombing, M.Si. Meanwhile, the jury of the Storytelling Competition was Mikhael Yulius Cobis, M.Si., M.M., Dr. Lestari Nurhajati and Cyntia Keliat, S.I.Kom., MPA. Meanwhile, the judges for the Food Photo Contest were Dendy Muris, M.Sc., Andreas Humala Simanjuntak, S.Si., and Isdananto Oktianur, M.A.
Not only holding a series of competitions but this festival is also equipped with a talk show with an inspiring virtual seminar package. The virtual seminar with the theme “I Can Work” was held on Sunday, April 25, 2021 which discussed how to see opportunities for individuals with special needs to earn income. This activity is intended for parents with children with special needs, to understand how to prepare their baby’s future to be financially independent later. At this event, there was also virtually Raysha Dinar Kemal Gani, the youngest daughter of Mrs. Prita Kemal Gani who also had a diagnosis of autism since the age of 2.5 years. Through the virtual seminar “I Can Work”, Raysha showed one form of therapy she was carrying out, namely singing. In a series of activities, there are also S-Talks or ‘Special Talk’ programs broadcast through social media TV channels. This program is delivered by special individuals with a variety of cool topics. Discussing “What is Autism Awareness?”, Presenting Mrs. Prita Kemal Gani, MBA, MCIPR, APR as Founder of LSBA and LSCAA as speakers.
“Taking the theme Inclusivity in Diversity because accepting differences must start from an inclusive environment that provides equality for each individual. Apart from that, the concept of donating through this competition is also our hope so that we can invite autistic individuals to learn to share, “said Mrs. Chrisdina Wempi, as the Chairperson of the LSCAA. He also emphasized that the 13th Autism Awareness Festival was quite interesting because this year it involved autistic children to participate in competitions, as well as showcase their work. From year to year, the Autism Awareness Festival has high interest and has received a good response. With a variety of unique differences from special friends, LSCAA and LSBA have succeeded in providing a forum where this inclusive environment can be experienced directly by LSPR students, and all other LSPR families. Thus, education about autism can be easily understood and spread.
The Autism Awareness Festival activities always touch the hearts of many people and open our eyes to how individuals with autism can work, appear and communicate. Such as the vision and mission of LSCAA and LSBA itself. The awareness that is spread continues to increase and the hope is that more people will understand how to communicate with autistic individuals or adjust themselves in an inclusive environment so that they can also feel a ‘sense of acceptance’ from their surroundings. Ms. Prita said that, “The UNICEF report states that as many as 15% of the population are people with disabilities, and 1% are people with autism. What is needed for people with Autism, the right support and therapist. It is hoped that, the London School Beyond Academy through the Vocational Training Center and the AAF program, it can motivate parents to achieve independence. “