The United Nations will honor autism awareness next year with a series of postage stamps designed by individuals with the developmental disability.

The stamps are part of an annual effort to highlight causes that are important to the international body, according to David Failor, director of the United Nations Postal Administration, which will issue the first-ever autism awareness stamps in early April.

The U.N. is currently accepting submissions through Friday from artists with autism who would like their work featured on a stamp. Failor says the organization will select at least three designs to put into circulation.

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“It could be a great portrait, a still life of flowers or somebody’s view of the world,” Failor said. “There are a lot of great artists with autism out there and we’ll use that as a vehicle to show the talents that they have and the challenges they have to overcome.”

About 1 million autism awareness stamps are expected to be made available at U.N. offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna. The postage is valid for mailing letters from U.N. locations and it’s also popular with stamp collectors.

Each year the U.N. issues stamps to honor seven causes of importance to member nations. In addition to autism, the agency plans to focus on endangered species, indigenous people and the environment, among other issues in 2012, Failor said.

To be considered, artists can submit their work by e-mail along with a brief bio.

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