ROLE OF GRAPHIC DESIGN IN COMMUNICATING TO CREATE AUTISM AWARENESS IN KENYA (A CASE STUDY OF DIFFERENTLY TALENTED SOCIETY OF KENYA.)

Graphic design surrounds us. Though often overlooked, it is the signs we read, the products we buy and the rooms we occupy. Graphic designers find beauty without limitations, working towards the ultimate goal of visually communicating a message, be it the packaging of a product or the spirit of a book, this project is therefore seeking to sensitize Kenyans about the Autism Spectrum Disorder and the impact it has on our society. The researcher intends to use graphic design as a tool to create autism awareness as visual communication is an ideal way of communicating something as complex and as wide as the autism spectrum. The human mind is adapted to understanding things better when they are communicated visually using images and clear typefaces. After it was found out that a large population of Kenya, especially Nairobi County has very limited or no information at all on the disorder and the impact it can have on the affected and the people linked to them, the researcher found it prudent to embark on this research to create autism awareness in Kenya as the cases of affected individuals are rapidly increasing. Previous studies suggest that the public awareness about ASD needs improvement. Considerable misconceptions and misinformation were identified, which can be targeted by focused educational campaigns. Such initiatives should facilitate the development of systematic and sustainable solutions for enhancing autism awareness and hence develop effective and sustainable public health solutions for disseminating beneficial information to affected families. Such limited awareness and understanding about autism involves not only the public but also teachers and health care professionals. Most importantly, individuals and families of the affected cases face stigmatisation because very little is known of the disorder. Graphic design can therefore be used to solve the problem by bridging the knowledge gap concerning autism.

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