Zoos and Aquariums Participated in first annual 'Zoos Go Blue'

Unique Autism Awareness Month Events Give Families Affected by Autism a Day of Fun and Adventure

Autism Speaks and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) partnered to create the first “Zoos Go Blue,” a unique Autism Awareness Month event taking place at more than 30 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums across North America this past weekend.

Participating zoos and aquariums supported the day in different ways – some offered free or discounted admission for people with autism while others will offered special educational programming for people with autism and their families or featured tables with information about autism.

For this unique initiative, Autism Speaks created a family Tool Kit that helped prepare families for their trip to the zoo or aquarium. Additionally, a tool kit was prepared for the zoo and aquarium staff that provided information and insights to help create an autism-friendly environment, including tips for staff about communicating with visitors on the spectrum.

“A day at the zoo or aquarium is a wonderful outing for any family, but for individuals with autism and their families, it can be a challenge,” said Lisa Goring, Autism Speaks vice president of family services. “Zoos Go Blue is a great opportunity for our families to enjoy a fun day designed with their needs in mind. We appreciate each and every zoo and aquarium that has committed to extending a special welcome on April 28.”

“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums work hard to provide a great experience for everyone, and we are pleased to partner with Autism Speaks to make sure that people with autism can make the most of their zoo or aquarium visit,” said AZA President & CEO Jim Maddy. “Everyone can relate to animals. By offering unique opportunities and programming through the Zoos Go Blue initiative, these zoos and aquariums are helping to create meaningful experiences for families affected by autism.”

 

Zoos and aquariums that participated on April 28 (unless otherwise indicated) were:

  • Abilene Zoological Gardens (April 27)
  • Aquarium of the Bay
  • Audubon Nature Institute
  • Bergen County Zoological Park
  • Binder Park Zoo
  • Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
  • Central Park Zoo (Wildlife Conservation Society)
  • Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo
  • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
  • Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
  • Dallas Zoo
  • Detroit Zoological Society
  • Dickerson Park Zoo
  • Franklin Park Zoo
  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Kansas City Zoo (April 14)
  • Lincoln Children's Zoo
  • Minnesota Zoo
  • Mystic Aquarium (April 6)
  • Oakland Zoo
  • Oregon Zoo
  • Phoenix Zoo
  • Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
  • Riverbanks Zoo and Garden 
  • Roger Williams Park Zoo (May 5)
  • Sacramento Zoo
  • Seneca Park Zoo
  • Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
  • Utah's Hogle Zoo

 

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