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Autism Speaks Kicks off World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month Celebration with its

Over 500 Iconic Buildings and Landmarks Around the World will Shine a Bright Blue Light on Autism

NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 24, 2011) – Autism Speaks, North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization, today announced its 2nd annual Light It Up Blue (LIUB) campaign – a unique global initiative to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day and help raise funds and awareness of autism as a growing public health crisis.

LIUB will begin on the evening of April 1 when more than 500 structures in over 120 U.S. cities and 25 countries will join Autism Speaks to shine a bright light on autism. Iconic landmarks around the world – including the Empire State Building and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, the Willis Tower in Chicago, Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando, STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, along with the Niagara Falls and CN Tower in Canada, Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil and the Sydney Opera House in Australia – as well as airports, bridges, museums, concert halls, schools/universities, restaurants, and retail stores, will light up in bright blue to help kick off Autism Awareness Month and celebrate World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

The public can actively participate in LIUB by supporting the campaign virtually with the launch of a free Light It Up Blue iPhone App and new Build a Blue Website. The LIUB app is available at the iTunes Store and allows users to become part of this global initiative by turning their own pictures blue with a choice of five different style frames. Americans are encouraged to upload the photos to the live stream on In an effort to help raise much needed funds for research, participants can also Build a Blue Website and ask friends and family to support Autism Speaks by making a donation to their personal page.

In addition, Autism Speaks will launch a new 30 second PSA starring 5th graders from Pelham, N.Y., singing an original song composed by one of their classmates for LIUB. The PSA is set to air starting March 21 on broadcast and cable television and SiriusXM satellite radio and is live on As part of its ongoing, award-winning public service ad campaign, to promote autism awareness and encourage participation in the LIUB initiative, Autism Speaks has once again produced web banners that can be downloaded for free.

Individuals interested in finding fun and creative ways to participate in LIUB should visit The website provides a number of ideas from hosting autism-themed gatherings to viewings of autism-themed films and TV programs to wearing the Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin or by purchasing specially marked blue light bulbs and LED lanterns sold exclusively at Home Depot to light the exterior of your house. The site also accepts donations to fund autism awareness and research efforts.

“We are very excited to see all these landmark buildings, some for the second year now, illuminated in blue as part of our Light It Up Blue campaign to support World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month,” says Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks. “We also want to give a special thank you to our corporate and retail partners for their dedication and the generosity they have shown to this cause. Together, we will light the skies like a beacon of hope and ensure that our message of autism awareness will reach millions around the globe.”

The following Autism Speaks corporate and retail partners will Light It Up Blue by raising autism awareness in stores starting on April 1 and 2:

Casey's General Stores
Dollar General
FelCor Lodging Trust
Gaylord Hotels
LAMAR Digital Media
The Home Depot
White Castle
Zale Corporation
Bergdorf Goodman
Coldwater Creek
Elizabeth Arden
Lord & Taylor
Neiman Marcus
Nest Fragrances
Ralph Lauren
The NBC Experience Store
T.J. Maxx

Participating Buildings include:

National Buildings

Auburn University - Auburn, AL

Brookline College - Phoenix, AZ

Universal Studios Hollywood - Hollywood, CA
Between Cherry/Appleton/Junipero/Broadway - Long Beach, CA
The Center (4th/Cherry) - Long Beach, CA
Corner Store - Long Beach, CA
The Den Salon - Long Beach, CA
Edible Arrangements (7th/Redondo) - Long Beach, CA
Hot Java - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach Skate - Long Beach, CA
Park Pantry - Long Beach, CA
Rite Aid (Cherry/Broadway) - Long Beach, CA
Tincher Elementary School - Long Beach, CA
UPS Store (7th/Redondo) - Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles International Airport - Los Angeles, CA
Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE - Los Angeles, CA
Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE - Los Angeles, CA
STAPLES Center - Los Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA
California State University, Northridge - Northridge, CA
San Jose State University - San Jose, CA

University of Colorado at Denver - Aurora, CO
Denver City & County Building - Denver, CO

Saint Vincent's Medical Center - Bridgeport, CT
Fairfield College Preparatory School - Fairfield, CT
Fairfield University - Fairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University - Fairfield, CT
Southern Connecticut State University - New Haven, CT
Town of Simsbury, CT - Simsbury, CT
JP Morgan Chase Bank - Southport, CT

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island - Amelia Island, FL
Mass Mutual/LINQ Financial Group - Coral Gables, FL
Stetson University - DeLand, FL
Nationwide Laboratory Services - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Telemundo Headquarters - Hialeah, FL
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center - Kissimmee, FL
Amway Center - Orlando, FL
City Hall of Orlando, FL - Orlando, FL
Universal Studios Orlando - Orlando, FL
University of Central Florida - Orlando, FL
City Hall of Palm Beach, FL - Palm Beach, FL
Ragtops Antique Museum - W. Palm Beach, FL
City Place Fountains - West Palm Beach, FL
City Place South Tower - West Palm Beach, FL
MorseLife, Honoring Senior Living - West Palm Beach, FL
News Channel 5 - Florida - West Palm Beach, FL
University of Delaware - Wilton Manors, FL
Costa d' Este Resort Vero Beach Florida - Vero Beach, FL
Palm Beach Atlantic University - West Palm Beach, FL

Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel - Atlanta, GA
Fernbank Museum of Natural History (Largest Dinosaur Exhibit in the World will light blue) - Atlanta, GA
Fox Theatre Marquee - Atlanta, GA
Georgia State University - Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech - Atlanta, GA
Kennedy Krieger Institute - Atlanta, GA
Metropolis Condominium - Atlanta, GA
Sweet Auburn Bread - Atlanta, GA
Viewpoint Condominium - Atlanta, GA
University of West Georgia - Carrollton, GA
City of Douglasville, GA - Douglasville, GA
Douglasville Public Safety and Municipal Court Building - Douglasville, GA
Freedom Island Gateway - Douglasville, GA
O'Neall Plaza Fountain - Douglasville, GA
Southern Polytechnic State University - Marietta, GA
Band Shell, Forsyth Park - Savannah, GA

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa - Lahaina, HI

University of Northern Iowa - Cedar Falls, IA
Davenport Skybridge - Davenport, IA
Casey's General Stores (1600 stores will frost cookies blue for the month of April) - Des Moines, IA
University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA
City of Storm Lake, IA - Storm Lake, IA

Idaho State University - Pocatello, ID

University of Illinois - Champaign, IL
181 West Madison - Chicago, IL
221 N. LaSalle – Lasalle
Wacker Building - Chicago, IL
900 N. Michigan Ave. - Chicago, IL
Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier - Chicago, IL
City Hall of Chicago, IL - Chicago, IL
Coco Pazzo Restaurant - Chicago, IL
Des Plaines Casino - Chicago, IL
Heller International Building - Chicago, IL
Hilton Chicago - Chicago, IL
Merchandise Mart - Chicago, IL
Northwestern University - Chicago, IL
One Financial Place - Chicago, IL
One North Wacker Drive - Chicago, IL
One South Dearborn - Chicago, IL
Palmer House Hotel - Chicago, IL
Reid Murdoch Building - Chicago, IL
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago - Chicago, IL
Underground Night Club - Chicago, IL
Union Tower - Chicago, IL
Willis Tower - Chicago, IL
Wrigley Building - Chicago, IL
Longwood Elementary School - Glenwood, IL
Kane County - Kane County, IL
Village of South Elgin, IL - South Elgin, IL
Governor Pat Quinn (Sec. of St. Howlett Building) - Springfield, IL

Indiana University - Indiana University, IN
Saint Mary's College - Notre Dame, IN
Indiana State University - Terre Haute, IN
Purdue University - West Lafayette, IN

T-REX Café - Kansas City, KS
Kansas State University - Manhattan, KS
Johnson County Community College - Overland Park, KS
University of Kansas Edwards Campus - Overland Park, KS

Boston Wharf Hotel - Boston, MA
Prudential Tower - Boston, MA
State Capitol of Massachusetts - Boston, MA
TD Garden - Boston, MA
Fenway Park - Boston, MA
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy - Boston, MA
Nantucket Cottage Hospital - Nantucket, MA
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame - Springfield, MA
UMASS Medical School - Worcester, MA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute - Worcester, MA

City Hall of Baltimore – Baltimore, MD
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health - Baltimore, MD
Archdiocese of Washington Department of Special Needs Ministries - Landover Hills, MD
Gaylord National Hotel - National Harbor, MD
Discovery Communications - Silver Spring, MD

Alma College - Alma, MI
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
Western Michigan University - Kalamazoo, MI
Marquette University - Marquette, MI

LaSalle Tower - Minneapolis, MN

Southeast Missouri State
University - Cape Girardeau, MO
University of Missouri at Columbia - Columbia, MO
Community Christian Church - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Downtown Marriott - Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Midland Theatre - Kansas City, MO
Big Brothers Big Sisters Building in Grand Center - St. Louis, MO
City Garden Fountain - St. Louis, MO
Government Hill Fountain - St. Louis, MO
Lighting Associates Office - St. Louis, MO
Missouri History Museum - St. Louis, MO
Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum - St. Louis, MO
St. Louis - Lambert International Airport - St. Louis, MO
The Chase Park Plaza - St. Louis, MO
The Civil Courts Building - St. Louis, MO

Montana State Capitol Building - Helena, MT
Missoula International Airport - Missoula, MT

University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill and UNC Hospitals - Chapel Hill, NC
Duke Energy - Charlotte, NC
Melting Pot Restaurant - Charlotte, NC
NASCAR Hall of Fame - Charlotte, NC
Piedmont Natural Gas - Charlotte, NC
The Melting Pot of Charlotte - Charlotte, NC
TIAA Cref - Charlotte, NC
Zoe's Kitchen - Charlotte, NC
Earnheardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates - Concord, NC
Western Carolina University - Cullowhee, NC
Elon University - Elon, NC
Frankie and Louie's - Harrisburg, NC
Porter Ridge High School - Indian Trail, NC
Chili's Grill & Bar Restaurant - Monroe, NC

Nebraska State Capitol Building - Lincoln, NE

University of New Hampshire - Durham, NH

Atlantic City Outlets, The Walk - Atlantic City, NJ
Hilton Casino Resort - Atlantic City, NJ
Willie the Woodsman & Wife - Audubon, NJ
Vine Restaurant – Basking Ridge NJ
The Bernard's Inn - in Bernardsville - Bernardsville, NJ
Newmark School - Bernardsville, NJ
Penguin Ice Cream - Bernardsville, NJ
Caldwell College - Caldwell, NJ
New Meadowlands Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ
Far Hills Country Day School – Far Hills, NJ
REED Academy - Garfield, NJ
Edberg Marketing - Hoboken, NJ
Rider University - Lawrenceville, NJ
Porterhouse Restaurant - Montvale, NJ
Uproot Restaurant - Warren, NJ

Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino - Las Vegas, NV

Rockland County PBA - Blauvelt, NY
Bronx Lebanon Hospital - Bronx, NY
Sarah Lawrence College - Bronxville, NY
CUNY Kingsborough Community College - Brooklyn, NY
Cornell University - Cornell, NY
Mets Citi Field - Flushing Meadows, NY
Colgate University - Hamilton, NY
Delta Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport - Jamaica, NY
St. John's University - Jamaica, NY
Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building - Mineola, NY
Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock™ Observation Deck - New York, NY
34th Street Heliport - New York, NY
7 World Trade Center - New York, NY
9 Restaurant - New York, NY
37 Apartments Corporation - New York, NY
50 West 67th Street, Inc. - New York, NY
Abe & Arthur's - New York, NY
Autism Speaks NYC Headquarters - 1 E. 33rd St. - New York, NY
Barclays Capital - New York, NY
Bergdorf Goodman - New York, NY
Bloomingdale's - New York, NY
Brooklyn Borough Hall - New York, NY
The Centurion - New York, NY
Chelsea Piers - New York, NY
Coldwater Creek - New York, NY
Cucina & Co. at Rockefeller Center - New York, NY
Douglas Elliman Property Management - New York, NY
Elizabeth Arden Inc. - New York, NY
Empire State Building - New York, NY
FUSE Networks - New York, NY
Gabriel's Bar & Restaurant - New York, NY
Google New York - New York, NY
Hard Rock Café - New York, NY
Hunter College - New York, NY
Lord & Taylor 47 Nationwide Stores - New York, NY
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
McCarton School - New York, NY
NBC Experience Store - New York, NY
Neiman Marcus - New York, NY
New York Stock Exchange - New York, NY
New York-Presbyterian Hospital and its Institute for Brain Development (Opening 2012) - New York, NY & Westchester, NY
Num Pang NYC - New York, NY
NYU Langone Medical Center - New York, NY
Otto - New York, NY
Radio City Music Hall - New York, NY
Ralph Lauren Women's & Home - New York, NY
Ralph Lauren Men's – New York, NY
Rock Center Café - New York, NY
Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto - New York, NY
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum - New York, NY
The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center - New York, NY
Thomson Reuters Building - New York, NY
Trump Soho New York - New York, NY
Walgreens Jumbotron - New York, NY
Grand Hyatt New York Hotel - New York, NY
Ben's Jewelers - Pearl River, NY
City of Pearl River - Pearl River, NY
D&D Interior Design - Pearl River, NY
Danu Gallery - Pearl River, NY
Defiant Brewing Company - Pearl River, NY
Hair Performance - Pearl River, NY
Happy Nail Salon - Pearl River, NY
Joe and Joe Restaurant - Pearl River, NY
Kwan Thai Restaurant - Pearl River, NY
Louie's on the Avenue - Pearl River, NY
Luigi O'Grady's Deli & Catering - Pearl River, NY
Madelynrose - Pearl River, NY
Mel's Army and Navy - Pearl River, NY
Munnos Deli & Catering - Pearl River, NY
Peckman's Wine & Liquors - Pearl River, NY
Pete's Barber Shop - Pearl River, NY
Pizza City - Pearl River, NY
Quality Graphics - Pearl River, NY
Shop Rite of Pearl River - Pearl River, NY
Steve's Dart Lounge - Pearl River, NY
The Toy Box - Pearl River, NY
Greystone Programs Inc. - Poughkeepsie, NY
Marist College - Poughkeepsie, NY
John F. Kennedy International Airport - Queens, NY
University of Rochester - Rochester, NY
Syracuse University - Syracuse, NY
Shop Rite of White Plains - White Plains, NY
Mr. Carmelo Custom Tailoring - Pearl River, NY
Prudential Joyce Realty - Pearl River, NY
St. John's University - Staten Island, NY

Ohio Northern University - Ada, OH
University of Mount Union - Alliance, OH
Bowling Green State University - Bowling Green, OH
Fountain Square - Cincinnati, OH
City Hall of Cleveland, OH - Cleveland, OH
Terminal Tower, Cleveland, OH
Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, OH
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland, OH
Defiance College - Defiance, OH
Kent State University - Kent, OH
Marietta College - Marietta, OH
Miami University, Oxford - Oxford, OH
Palate Restaurant - Strongsville, OH
University of Toledo - Toledo, OH
John Carroll University - University Heights, OH
Youngstown State University - Youngstown, OH

Alpha Xi Delta at University of Central Oklahoma - Edmond, OK

Oregon Health & Science University - Portland, OR

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. - Allentown, PA
Muhlenberg College - Allentown, PA
Bartram House Bakery - Canonsburg, PA
Canon McMillan High School - Canonsburg, PA
Pennsylvania State University Lehigh Valley - Center Valley, PA
Cooper University Hospital – Camden, NJ/Philadelphia, PA
Darby Fire Company - Darby, PA
Foundations Behavioral Health - Doylestown, PA
Benjamin Franklin Bridge - Philadelphia, PA
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Cira Tower - Philadelphia, PA
Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penns Landing - Philadelphia, PA
One Liberty Place - Philadelphia, PA
PECO Energy Building - Philadelphia, PA
The Ritz Carlton Philadelphia - Philadelphia, PA
Allegheny County Executive Office & Courthouse - Pittsburgh, PA
Canon McMillan High School - Pittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Science Center - Pittsburgh, PA
David L. Lawrence Convention Center - Pittsburgh, PA
Duquesne Incline - Pittsburgh, PA
Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA
Fifth Avenue Place/Highmark Building - Pittsburgh, PA
KDKA Radio Station - Pittsburgh, PA
PITT OHIO Trucking Company Headquarters - Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
PNC Park - Pittsburgh, PA
Port Authority - Mon Incline - Pittsburgh, PA
The Andy Warhol Museum - Pittsburgh, PA
University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA
Southwood Psychiatric Hospital - Pittsburgh, PA
Pennsylvania State University - Bryce Jordan Center - University Park, PA
The Bachman Company Headquarters - Wyomissing, PA

Hubbell Lighting - Greenville, SC
NEXT Innovation Center Building - Greenville, SC
Riverplace Office Building - Greenville, SC
The Westin Poinsett – Greenville - Greenville, SC
BMW Zentrum Museum - Greer, SC
West Columbia City Hall - West Columbia, SC

University of South Dakota - Vermillion, SD

Christian Brothers University - Memphis, TN
Rutherford County Courthouse - Murfreesboro, TN
Gaylord Opryland Hotel - Nashville, TN
State Capitol of Tennessee - Nashville, TN
The Parthenon - Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt University - Vanderbilt, TN

University of Texas - Austin, TX
Texas Wesleyan University - Fort Worth, TX
The Comfort Suites North Fossil Creek - Fort Worth, TX
Gaylord Texan Hotel - Grapevine, TX
City Hall of Houston, TX - Houston, TX
JP Morgan Chase Tower - Houston, TX
First Choice Emergency Rooms (12 locations throughout TX) – Houston, TX
Tower of the Americas - San Antonio, TX
Texas State University - San Marcos, TX

Total Wine & More (8 Locations throughout VA) - Alexandria, VA
University of West Virginia - Morgantown, VA
Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA
Mary Baldwin College - Staunton, VA
TMA Resources Inc. - Vienna, VA

Eastern Washington University - Cheney, WA
Pacific Science Center - Seattle, WA
University of Washington - Seattle, WA

Levi Leonard Elementary School - Evansville, WI
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse - La Crosse, WI
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire - Madison, WI
Bradley Center - Milwaukee, WI
Mitchell Park Conservatory - Milwaukee, WI
Carroll University - Waukesha, WI

Bethany College - Bethany, WV
Marshall University - Huntington, WV

International Buildings

Pinky Flat Fountain - Adelaide, Australia
Rundle Mall Canopy - Adelaide, Australia
Brisbane City Hall - Brisbane, Australia
King George Square - Brisbane, Australia
Federation Square - Melbourne, Australia
Swan Bell Tower - Perth, Australia
Sydney Opera House - Sydney, Australia

Bahrain World Trade Center - Manama, Bahrain

Tom Adams Financial Centre - Bridgetown, Barbados

NYSE Euronext Belgium - Brussels, Belgium

City Hall of Hamilton, Bermuda - Hamilton, Bermuda

City of Atibaia - Atibaia, Brazil
Senado Federal do Brasil (Federal Senate of Brazil) - Brasilia, Brazil
Teatro Amazonas - Manaus, Brazil
Central Square - Montenegro, Brazil
Chaminé da Usina do Gasômetro - Porto Alegre, Brazil
Palácio Rio Branco - Rio Branco, Brazil
Cristo Redemptor of Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer) - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Drogaria Real de Higienópolis - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Grêmio Recreativo Esportivo dos Industriários da Penha - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Penha Church - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Monumento às Bandeiras - São Paulo, Brazil
Ponte Estaiada – Estaiada Bridge - São Paulo, Brazil
Vale de Anhangabaú Square - São Paulo, Brazil
Palácio de Karnak - Teresina, Brazil
Câmara Municipal de Vereadores - Volta Redonda, Brazil
CAPS II- Dr. Sérgio Fritsch - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Chafariz da Praça Brasil - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Chafariz perto da rodoviária - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Escola Municipal Especializada Professora Dayse Mansur - Volta Redonda, Brazil
HC Visual - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio de Janeiro/ Campus Nilo Peçanha - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (OAB/VR) - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Prefeitura Municipal - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Secretaria Municipal de Ação Comunitária - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Secretaria Municipal de Educação - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Secretaria Municipal de Saúde - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Sitio Escola Municipal Espaço de Integração do Autista - Volta Redonda, Brazil
Universidade Federal Fluminense - Campus Aterrado - Volta Redonda, Brazil

MaRS Building - Toronto, Canada
City of Burlington - Burlington, Canada
City Hall of Edmonton - Edmonton, Canada
City Hall of Hamilton - Hamilton, Canada
Niagara Falls Illumination Board - Niagara Falls, Canada
CN Tower - Toronto, Canada
Canada Place - Vancouver, Canada

Mercedes-Benz Arena - Shanghai, China

Colpatria Tower (Torre Colpatria) - Bogotá, Colombia
Lievano's Palace - Bogotá, Colombia

Nicosia Town Hall - Nicosia, Cyprus

Cairo Tower, Cairo Egypt

NYSE Euronext Paris - Paris, France

Jókai Theatre - Békéscsaba, Hungary
Budapest Palace of Arts - Budapest, Hungary
Hungarian Parliament Building - Budapest, Hungary

Dublin City Hall - Dublin, Ireland
The National Concert Hall - Dublin, Ireland

University of West Indies - Kingston, Jamaica

Kobe Port Tower - Kobe, Japan
Nofukuji Temple (Hyogo Daibutsu) - Kobe, Japan
Okura Hotel - Kobe, Japan

Kenyatta International Conference Center - Nairobi, Kenya

Michael Fowler Centre - Wellington, New Zealand

SM Mall of Asia - Manila, Philippines

Vistula River Bridge - Krakow, Poland

Four Seasons Hotel - Doha - Doha, Qatar

The Gate of the Kiss - Târgu Jiu, Romania

The Kingdom Tower - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Singapore Flyer - Singapore

El Palacio de la Música de Valencia - Valencia, Spain

Galle Face Hotel - Colombo, Sri Lanka

Corinthia Burj Al-Fateh Hotel Khartoum - Khartoum, Sudan

Spinnaker Tower - Portsmouth, United Kingdom

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 disease-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 in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $160 million to research through 2014 and developing innovative new resources for families. 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 has created resources and programs including the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Autism Speaks' 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, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light It Up Blue initiative. Also, Autism Speaks award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign with the Ad Council has received over $258 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 and a community grant program. 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 in 23 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 14 states. 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, Chairman and CEO of the Palm Beach Civic Association 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 is a Trustee Emeritus of Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater. Suzanne has received numerous awards, the Women of Distinction Award from Palm Beach Atlantic University, 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 Women of Vision Award from the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2008, the Wrights were named to the Time 100 Heroes and Pioneers category, a list of the most influential people in the world, for their commitment to global autism advocacy. They have also received numerous awards such as the first ever Double Helix Award for Corporate Leadership, NYU Child Advocacy Award, Castle Connolly National Health Leadership Award and The American Ireland Fund Humanitarian Award. In May of 2010 they received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degrees from St. John's University in Queens and delivered the commencement address as the first married couple to be bestowed such an honor.