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Black Tie International: Autism Speaks' Light It Up Blue Campaign





Iconic Buildings and Landmarks Around the World Shine a
Bright Blue Light on Autism


- 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. 

Iconic landmarks 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 crisis.

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 produced web banners that were distributed to hundreds of web sites.  In addition, Autism Speaks launched a special web site,, 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 efforts

"We 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."

To 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: 

         The 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. Throughout the campaign, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys?R?Us and Babies'R'Us stores and online at

         Nest Fragrances 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.

         The 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 pins.

         The NBA Store and The NBC Experience Store in NYC turned their lights blue and featured a special message in the store windows.

         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.

  • Ralph Lauren at the 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.
  • Elizabeth Arden had its sales associates wear puzzle 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.
 lit up their web properties blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day

         Fight Lights, 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.
 promoted Light It Up Blue on its website properties with LIUB web banners, logos and colors.

         Discovery Channel 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.

 World 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.


About Autism

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,

please visit


About the Co-Founders

Autism Speaks 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. Suzanne 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.


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