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Autism Speaks Launches Redesigned Autismspeaks.Org

Site Features Dynamic New Tools and Features to Access, Share and Act On Important Autism News and Information

NEW YORK, N.Y. (JUNE 16, 2011) – Autism Speaks – North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization – today launched a redesigned, dynamic website, AutismSpeaks.org, that enables those impacted by autism – or just interested in learning more about the disorder – to easily access, share and utilize autism-related news, actionable information, resources and ideas. AutismSpeaks.org is one of the most-visited and respected sources for autism news and information, attracting more than 400,000 visits each month.

The redesigned AutismSpeaks.org features a new homepage that now includes a dynamic feed of the latest from Autism Speaks – including Science, Family Services and Autism Votes advocacy news – as well as other important sources of autism news. New Science and Family Services landing pages highlight key news items, relevant news feeds and press releases Nand blog content. The site also offers easier navigation to key tools and resources, including the national Autism Speaks Resource Guide, tool kits (First 100 Days Tool Kit, Transition Tool Kit, School Community Tool Kit, Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism Tool kit and others) and grant applications and information. A revamped Science section features similar navigational enhancements and also includes a searchable database of all Autism Speaks funded research projects dating back to 2006.

All AutismSpeaks.org pages will now be easier to share via social media, as well as bookmark and print. Visitors are able to search, share and subscribe subscribe by keyword – “early intervention” or “adult services,” for example – and see all articles posted that are tagged with these terms in multiple applications, share across social networks and view on mobile devices.

“As Autism Speaks has grown, especially in the areas of family services and advocacy, it has become important for us to build an online experience for our community that matches the breadth and depth of our entire organization,” said Marc Sirkin, Autism Speaks chief community officer. “Our ultimate goal is to leverage the latest technologies to give us greater flexibility as we deliver content to our community, including, ultimately, the ability to create a highly-personalized experience, based on each visitor’s needs and interests.”

“We know that our community has an unquenchable thirst for reliable and accurate news, resources and information as they navigate the unique challenges autism poses,” said Mark Roithmayr, president of Autism Speaks. “Our goal is to be a go-to source for this information, but also to ensure that we provide context and insight from our staff, respected outside experts, individuals with autism and caregivers that empowers our families to make informed decisions that best suit their specific needs. Our website is a virtual home for our organization, and we hope it will also serve, in conjunction with our social media platforms, as a second home for the families we serve.”

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, and one in 70 boys. The prevalence of autism has increased 600 percent in the past two decades. 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 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 $272 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 26 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 12 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 www.autismspeaks.org.

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 Chairman and CEO of the Palm Beach Civic Association. He served as Vice Chairman of General Electric; and as the 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, Mission Product, LLC, EMI Group Global Ltd and the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Suzanne Wright 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.