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Calls to Action

World Autism Awareness Day

April 03, 2008

Wednesday, April 2 was the first ever World Autism Awareness Day. It was celebrated in many ways throughout the U.S. and all around the world. See some of the Autism Speaks coverage below.

New York Stock Exchange Opening Bell

In New York City, Autism Speaks volunteers and supporters opened the day by ringing the famous bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Participating in the Opening Bell Ceremony on the platform were Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, Muna Rihani (Al-Nasser), Alison Niederauer, Liam Niederauer, Duncan Niederauer, CEO NYSE, Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of the State of Qatar,

View highlights from the NYSE Opening Bell
YouTube Video ~ 1 minutes

Suzanne Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, Mark Roithmayr, President of Autism Speaks and Sheikha Alya Al-Thani. Many other supporters were on the Stock Exchange floor watching the event. NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer's son Liam, who has autism, rang the opening bell.

Prior to the Opening Bell, Bob Wright, Liam Niederauer, Duncan Niederauer, Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of the State of Qatar, and Suzanne Wright all spoke at an awards breakfast at the NYSE.

View highlights from the NYSE Breakfast
YouTube Video ~ 2 minutes

Immediately after the Opening Bell, the Niederauers and Bob Wright were interviewed immediately after on CNBC's Squawk on the Street about World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). Duncan Niederauer praised the Wrights and the State of Qatar for the creation of WAAD and said “You can count on us to do this every April 2nd.” Liam then politely asked reporter Erin Burnett if he could speak and offered “I just think it was an honor to make me ring in the opening bell.”

View highlights from Squawk on the Street
YouTube Video ~ 2 minutes

Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks, made the rounds on national news today starting the morning with MSNBC's Morning Joe (click here to view the interview from MSNBC) and then an interview on the CBS Early Show which also ran a story on families coping with autism. Click here for coverage from CBS.

Suzanne Wright appeared on CNN this morning to talk about World Autism Awareness Day. She spoke about her personal experience with autism when her grandson was diagnosed 3 ½ years ago. “When we came to autism,” said Wright, “I'd never seen such a desperate community… but now the world is listening.”
View the complete interview here
and see all day autism coverage on CNN here: