How we ran an annual awareness campaign in April 2022

news

30 April 2022

In 2022, the Naked Heart Foundation launched the "Autism can" awareness campaign in time for April, Autism Awareness Month.

On 31 March, in anticipation of the April campaign, we presented the results of a survey on employment challenges for people with autism. According to respondents who know someone of working age with autism (12% of all respondents), more than half (57%) do not have work experience and only a third have work experience — 31%.

For April, Foundation presented a video about the most popular myths around autism and another one on what people with autism can do. In addition, Foundation produced special information cards that anyone could download and post on their social media with the hashtag #autismcan. Among those who supported our awareness campaign: actress Lianka Gryu, TV presenter Artem Korolev, actress Nino Ninidze, and many others.

Also, together with VKontakte and Dobro Mail.ru, we produced a series of short videos featuring Russian stars: musician Alexei Kortnev, actress Yulia Snigir and TV presenter Darya Zlatopolskaya who talked to the mother of a special child, a teenager with autism and his mother, as well as an adult woman with autism. Daria Zlatopolska and White Studio also released the full interview. The total number of views was more than 75,000.

A live broadcast with Naked Heart's experts took place on Foundation's page in Odnoklassniki social network. During the broadcast, child neurologist Svyatoslav Dovbnya and clinical psychologist Tatyana Morozova debunked the myths surrounding autism and answered the most popular questions from users. The total number of views was more than 260,000. In addition, users of Odnoklassniki could try on themed frames from the Foundation for their profile photos. In total, more than 15,000 people used them.

Our long-term partner FC Zenit supported Foundation during April campaign once again. On April 30, the photo exhibition 'A history of mutual victories' was presented at the Gazprom Arena stadium, featuring the players of the men's team and children with autism who receive support from Naked Heart Foundation. Before the match, there was a special creative workshop where guests at the arena were able to see and feel the world around them as children with special needs do.

As part of Autism Awareness Month, Foundation held a conference on 'Effective support programmes for pre-school and primary school children with ASD and their families'. The event attracted more than 300 participants from almost 30 Russian cities.

That month, we produced several important publications to help the public learn more about autism, inclusion, and Foundation's work. These include a news report from Vesti Pryvolzhye about employment for people with autism, an article by Foundation’s experts about pregnancies for women with ASD, and a story about the work of our Early Intervention Project partner kindergarten #53 in Saint-Petersburg.

Other partners in the Foundation's April campaign included the Russian Football Union, Nizhny Novgorod City Administration, Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Aeroexpress, VkusVill and MTS.

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The Naked Heart Foundation is a registered charity in England and Wales (1122345). It is also company limited by guarantee, registered at Companies House (6293334).

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