Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism
science and advocacy organization, kicked off its inaugural
Light It Up Blue campaign last night with nearly 200
iconic landmarks, airports, bridges, sports arenas, museums,
concert halls, restaurants as well as retail, corporate and
media partners in over 25 U.S. cities and 15
countries around the world turning their structures bright
blue in support of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and
Autism Awareness Month.
including the Empire State Building in New York City and
Willis Tower in Chicago along with the CN Tower in Toronto
and Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia were among those to light
up blue on the evening of April 1st the first night of
Autism Awareness Month and the eve of World Autism Awareness
Day (WAAD). Tonight, the Niagara Falls will go blue as well.
This unique global initiative helped raise awareness and
shine a bright light on autism as a growing public health
As part of its
ongoing, award-winning public service ad campaign and to
promote awareness of, and participation in the Light It
Up Blue initiative, Autism Speaks and the Ad Council
banners that were distributed to hundreds of web
sites. In addition, Autism Speaks launched a special web
www.lightitupblue.org, to highlight the campaign
and the participating buildings. The Light It Up Blue
website provides unique and fun ideas about how people can
get involved in their local community and support autism
awareness month, from hosting autism-themed gatherings to
viewings of autism-themed films and TV programs. The site
also accepts donations to fund autism awareness and research
are so grateful to these landmark buildings and dedicated
corporate, retail, and media partners for illuminating in
blue to show support for World Autism Awareness Day and
Autism Awareness Month," says Suzanne Wright, co-founder of
Autism Speaks. "Together, we lit the skies like a beacon of
hope and sent our message of autism awareness to millions
around the globe."
commemorate World Autism Awareness Day and the Light It
Up Blue campaign the following Autism Speaks corporate
sponsors, retail, and media partners are also participating:
Toys'R'Us Times Square GeoffreyTron screen
overlooking Broadway lit up blue and featured Autism Speaks
messaging as part of the company's annual fundraising
campaign to benefit Autism Speaks.
the campaign, monetary donations will be collected at all
Toys?R?Us and Babies'R'Us stores and online at
created the 'Blue Garden Candle,' specifically for Autism
Speaks, which can be purchased at
and at specialty stores nationwide. Nest
Fragrances, owned by Autism Speaks board member Laura
Slatkin, is donating 100% of profits from this candle to
Autism Speaks. Additionally, the following specialty
stores are participating by selling this candle with special
Light It Up Blue displays in stores: Boutique to Go,
Sharla's, Candles Off Main, Island Home, The Bee's Knees,
Pickets, Salon Pompeo, Scentimental Gardens, and AVALON
Salon and Day Spa.
Saks Fifth Avenue
NYC headquarters donated its prominent window on the
corner of 5th Avenue and 49th Street
to Autism Speaks and lit up blue last night.
Tommy Hilfiger store on Fifth Avenue in NYC
illuminated its store staircase and Stone Wall blue and had
its mannequins and sales associates wear the puzzle piece
The NBA Store
and The NBC Experience Store in NYC turned their
lights blue and featured a special message in the store
Lord & Taylor
47 stores around the country participated with employees
wearing blue and the Autism Speaks pin. In addition, the NYC
flagship store devoted one of its windows to autism.
Rhinelander Mansion in NYC turned its lights blue, had
its sales associates wear Autism Speaks pins, as well as
provided handouts about Light It Up Blue and World
Autism Awareness Day.
had its sales associates
piece pins, turned their store lights blue, displayed
special messaging in the windows and turned the
buildings lights blue.
will turned its home page blue and provided ?skins? with
information about Autism Speaks available for download.
their web properties blue in honor of World
Autism Awareness Day
an iPhone application, will donate a percentage of proceeds
to Autism Speaks when people download color #10 to light
their phones in blue to support autism awareness.
Light It Up Blue on its website properties
with LIUB web banners, logos and colors.
promoted Light It Up Blue on
their website and broadcasted Autism Speaks PSAs on their
corporate and impact site.
turned its family page wallpaper blue:
About World Autism Awareness Day
On December 18,
2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution
62/139, tabled by the State of Qatar, declaring April 2 as
World Autism Awareness Day in perpetuity. This UN resolution
established WAAD as one of only three official
health-specific United Nations Days, with the goal of
bringing the world's attention to autism, a pervasive
disorder that affects tens of millions.
Autism Awareness Day shines a bright light on autism as a
growing global health concern. WAAD activities help to
increase and develop world knowledge of the autism crisis
and impart information regarding the importance of early
diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, WAAD
celebrates the unique talents and skills of people with
autism, and features community events around the world where
individuals with autism and their families are warmly
welcomed and embraced.
Autism is a
complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's
ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and
is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism
spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in
the United States, affecting four times as many boys as
girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from
2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
have called autism a national public health crisis whose
cause and cure remain unknown.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is
North America's largest autism science and advocacy
organization. Since its inception only five short years ago,
Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over
$142.5 million to research and developing innovative new
resources for families through 2014. The organization is
dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention,
treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of
autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of
individuals with autism and their families. In addition to
funding research, Autism Speaks also supports the Autism
Treatment Network, Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and
several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable
awareness initiatives include the establishment of the
annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day
on April 2 and an award-winning 'Learn the Signs' campaign
with the Ad Council which has received over $210 million in
donated media. Autism Speaks? family resources include the
Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed
families, a School Community Tool Kit, a community grant
program and much more. Autism Speaks has played a critical
role in securing federal legislation to advance the
government's response to autism, and has successfully
advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral
treatments. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks
events are held in more than 80 cities across North America.
To learn more about Autism Speaks,
About the Co-Founders
was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the
grandparents of a child with autism. Bob Wright is Senior
Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice chairman,
General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC
Universal for more than twenty years. He also serves on the
boards of the Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation, RAND
Corporation and the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Wright has an extensive history of active involvement in
community and philanthropic endeavors, mostly directed
toward helping children. She serves on the boards of several
non-profit organizations and is also
Trustee Emeritus of Sarah
Lawrence College, her alma mater.
Suzanne has received numerous awards such as the CHILD
Magazine Children's Champions Award,
Luella Bennack Volunteer Award, Spirit of Achievement award
by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's National
Women's Division and the Weizmann Institute of Science.
In 2008, the Wrights were named to the Time 100 list
of the most influential people in the world for their
commitment to global autism advocacy.