Did you know that more than 3.5 million people in the U.S. alone are affected by autism, whether themselves, friends, or family members?
Autism is a developmental disorder that impacts a person’s ability to communicate and socialize – and it’s the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S. While someone is diagnosed with autism every 11 minutes, organizations like DirectEmployers’ partner Autism Speaks work to change the future for those with autism spectrum disorders. In an effort to promote awareness and acceptance nationwide, we have a number of exciting events and content planned for the month.
Kicking it all off is World Autism Day on Saturday, April 2nd. Putting the spotlight on autism as a growing global health priority, Autism Speaks celebrates the day with its “Light It Up Blue” campaign. During this time, thousands of iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, schools, businesses and homes will shine bright blue lights in honor of those affected by autism. Be sure to wear blue on this day and take a selfie with the hashtag #LIUB to show your support! We plan to “paint the office blue” with our attire tomorrow – follow us on social media for photos to come!
On Sunday, April 10th the Autism Speaks chapter in our hometown of Indianapolis will be hosting an Autism Awareness Night at the Indiana Pacers game, where proceeds from ticket sales will go to the cause. Then on Monday, April 18th, they’ll do it all over again at the Indianapolis Indians game! A number of our staff will be in attendance supporting this great cause – and of course, enjoying the games (plus, maybe a hot dog or two). If you are a local DirectEmployers Member interested in attending, contact our Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Shannon Offord, to learn how you can get discounted tickets for these events!
As previously mentioned, we will also be sharing exclusive content throughout the month that is centered on autism awareness in the workplace. We’ve got a number of great guest blog posts from our partners, Members, family and friends who will be sharing their personal experience and tips for your benefit. Additionally, Autism Speaks is graciously providing us with a pre-recorded, educational webinar focusing on accommodation strategies that can easily be implemented into your organization – and our Members will have exclusive access! Members should keep an eye on their inbox for information on how to view the recording in our Member-exclusive community once it becomes available.
The month of April is designated for bringing awareness to autism but that doesn’t make it any less important every other month of the year. On Saturday, June 4th, hundreds of thousands of individuals in nearly 100 cities will participate in Walk Now for Autism Speaks. DirectEmployers is honored to participate in this year’s Indianapolis event, and we encourage you to participate in a walk in your city.
In the meantime, stay tuned for fresh content right here on the DirectEmployers blog and feel free to share on social to help spread the word on this important topic.
Kacie Clark is a Marketing Manager specializing in social media and communications for DirectEmployers Association.