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World Autism Day Flag Raising Thunder Bay City Hall - (CJ Goater/Acadia Broadcasting)

Thunder Bay raising a flag for World Autism Day

By CJ Goater Apr 2, 2024 | 2:23 PM

The City of Thunder Bay has raised a World Autism Day awareness flag outside of city hall to support World Autism Day.

Each year on April 2, Autism Ontario launches a Celebrate the Spectrum initiative.

“(The initiative) marks an opportunity for positive action, to provide support, and advocacy to our diverse community, well learning about autism and how we can all make our communities better and more inclusive,” said Acting Mayor Kristen Oliver.

Thunder Bay joined the campaign in 2022 when Former Mayor of Thunder Bay Bill Mauro proclaimed that April 2 would be officially celebrated in Thunder Bay.

“The individuals in your community are your peers and everyone deserves to have that respect and in order to show that respect, sometimes you have to work a little bit harder to get to know people, to understand more about them, and to accept them the way that they are,” explained Event Outreach Specialist for Autism Ontario Ariana Mclean. “Events like this really help raise the awareness, at least for people to start having that conversation.”

The hope is that the flag at city hall will raise questions that lead to learning opportunities for community members looking to learn more about World Autism Day and autism in general.

“Everyone deserves what they need in terms of their communication, in terms of things that they may like or dislike. And I think it’s important to recognize that in your conversations and even your thought patterns,” added Mclean. “You may not understand why that person speaks the way that they do or listens the way that they do, but it’s important that on our end that we’re being as educated and open as possible to the individuals so we can all be one together in the community.”