On April 2, when UMass Medical School illuminates its landmark building blue, it will be participating not only in the International Light It Up Blue Celebration to show solidarity with millions of people across the world living with autism, it will also be affirming its commitment to the many people and families in Central and Western, MA.
The Light It Up Blue Autism Awareness and Acceptance Celebration is a community event, free and open to the public. The festivities include family-friendly activities and entertainment, music, and food for all ages. The Autism Awareness and Acceptance Celebration will also serve as a venue where providers will share information and resources. The event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 2. It culminates as the sun sets, and we light the building.
With this Ninth Annual Autism Awareness and Acceptance Celebration at UMass Medical School, co-hosts UMass Medical School, UMass Memorial Health Care and Autism Resource Central hope to increase awareness and acceptance of autism in the western parts of the state. Unlike Eastern Massachusetts which is home to numerous hospitals and programs that serve children and adults with autism, there are few in Central and Western Massachusetts. April 2 is an opportunity to extend support to families in this part of the state. It is an opportunity to support those who may feel isolated or stigmatized, but also to celebrate the unique gifts and strengths of those who are neurodiverse.
The hosts share a deep commitment to people and families impacted by autism. UMass Medical School Eunice K. Shriver Center has an almost 50-year history stretching back to President John F. Kennedy’s legislative efforts to improve equity, quality of life and inclusion of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It continues that mission with its comprehensive research, service, and training efforts. CANDO, the Shriver Center’s clinical program, is the only clinic in the region to serve children and adults with autism and complex presentations. UMass Memorial Health Care houses a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric Department that offers evaluation and clinics, and Autism Resource Central supports 3,500 families in Central Massachusetts.
If you would like to help get the word out to families or would like to share information on your individual or company social media channels including Facebook and Twitter, please view our materials.
This year the event hosts are inviting organizations, businesses, and agencies that wish to show their support of people and families impacted by autism to sponsor the Light It Up Blue Autism Awareness and Acceptance Celebration. So far, our Event Gold Sponsors include Seven Hills, Autism Resource and Therapy Center (artc), Behavioral Concepts Inc. (BCI), and Family Behavioral Health, and Berkshire Hills Music Academy.
For more information or to support autism awareness as a sponsor or advertiser, please visit our Light It Up Blue website.