On April 2, 2012, Autism Speaks celebrated World Autism Awareness Day with the 3rd Annual Light It Up Blue campaign and a series of awareness events. Nearly 3000 iconic buildings and landmarks in over 600 cities and over 50 countries worldwide shone a bright light on autism. People around the world participated in Light It Up Blue to raise autism awareness.
Among the highlights: On March 31, Autism Speaks hosted the Autism Speaks Salutes Military Families event at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, as part of its ongoing military initiative to advocate for the passage of the Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act. On April 2, Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright rang The Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Later that day, they led the Empire State Building ceremony to flip the switch to light the world famous icon's tower lights blue to officially kick off of the celebration of World Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month. On April 3, Autism Speaks co-hosted a United Nations panel discussion, "Delivering Answers through Inclusive International Collaboration," together with the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh, the United States Mission, and the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations.