W

e are Jozi 4 Autism.

We’re for autism awareness, social integration, and accessible
services and support for autism in Johannesburg.

Cherish the child marching to the beat of a different drum, for they play the most beautiful songs.

Fiona Goldsworthy

we aim to

  • Promote awareness of the prevalence of autism in Johannesburg with particular focus on under-represented communities
  • Encourage social integration of children and families on the autism spectrum within the context of the community
  • Promote accessible delivery of services and support networks for autism in Johannesburg

AWARENESS

light it up blue for autism

one walk

Organisations

where it all began…

In 2015 the first ever autism awareness walk was held at the Johannesburg zoo

  1. 2014The annual Light It Up Blue event was hosted by Autism South Africa (ASA) where the Nelson Mandela Bridge was lit up blue as part of a global initiative, which aims to raise awareness and support for autism. Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s legacy as a champion for equal access to services and education, speech-language therapist and parent, Sumaya Babamia approached ASA with the idea to create greater awareness within previously disadvantaged communities. As a member of both Autism SA and F.E.E.D, a charity that works to feed, empower, educate and develop impeverished communities, there was a natural fit to join hands and pool resources to make this vision a reality.
  2. 2015Fellow speech-language therapist and chair lady of the Caring Women’s Forum (CWF), recognized the need for awareness of disability and access to services within the community, and came on board with the initiative.
  3. 2016Our flagship event, a collaboration between Autism SA, F.E.E.D, and CWF was held. 300 people came out in support of the Autism Awareness Zoo Trot. Soon after the zoo trot a meeting was held inviting members of the collaborating organizations to become part of the planning committee for future autism awareness walks. The objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of the event in raising awareness among more under-represented communities, and to improve upon the practical and logistical aspects of the event.
  4. 2017A core group of ladies from the 3 organizations was established. It was recognized that the vision for the event reached far beyond just creating awareness and that there was a need to develop an identity that could grow as our vision and purpose expanded. And so Jozi 4 Autism was born26 March 2017, almost 1000 people descended upon the Johannesburg Zoo in support of autism awareness. You, our supporters, continue to engage with us on social media, encouraging us to imagine what is possible when we stand together in the fight for the services and support, that every family facing the challenges of autism deserves…
  5. 2018Our third walk overall and second as an independent organisation, Jozi 4 Autism was a wonderful experience.  Our partners came on board as usual and together we pulled off a day of awareness, acceptance and public education on autism.  Our speaker, Desirae Pillay (blogger, motivational speaker & supermom to 3 kids) gave a personal account of her journey with a child who has special needs.  Our walks are also about life’s very important ingredient – fun! Geppetto’s World – one of our exhibitors – set up a mobile play gym where kids could play while everyone else meandered through our many food & coffee stalls.

what’s happening?

Latest news, information, updates and resources.

Exhibitors at this year’s Jozi 4 Autism Zoo Trot

Sticking to our plan on making the day a more interactive, fun learning experience - we are having exhibitors to showcase what Joburg has to offer in terms of autism education. Each stand will be giving you a glimpse of the various teaching methods used in an...

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Programme of Events – 3rd Annual Zoo Trot

This year we plan on making the day a more interactive, fun learning experience. After the walk, mosey on over to the stands to grab yourself a delicious cup of coffee and a pastry (essential after physical excursion obvs) Check out our programme for the day: A...

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move with us…

We hope to host a walk for autism awareness every year, growing in numbers year on year, until Johannesburg sits up and takes notice, and hears our collective voices calling for the provision of education, health and therapeutic services for the many families struggling with autism in their communities all on their own. We hope that the spirit of Ubuntu that was felt on 26 March 2017 will continue to permeate to our individual homes, to our families, and eventually to our communities, so that a diagnosis of autism is no longer a sentence of social isolation. Let us rally our support around our families with autism, because we are STRONGER TOGETHER.

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STRONGER TOGETHER

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