Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell and members of the City Council are joining Mayor Kasim Reed in supporting heightened awareness and research into autism.
Considered a brain development disorder, autism is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
“I am honored to support autism awareness through the gesture of lighting up the Atlanta City Hall blue,” said Council President Mitchell. “It is my hope that the blue light will help remind families affected by autism that they are not alone and that their community stands with them.”
In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) and Autism Awareness Month (April), the Mitchell Street tower of Atlanta City Hall will turn blue starting at dusk tonight. In addition, President Mitchell is distributing blue ribbons to show compassion for those affected by the disorder.
The optimal viewing time for the illumination will be after 9 p.m. The City Hall tower is located at 68 Mitchell Street, S.W.
Autism is a growing public health crisis that now affects 1 in 88 individuals, and 1 in 54 boys in the United States and millions around the world.
The annual Light It Up Blue (LIUB) campaign is a global initiative to raise funds and increase awareness of autism. On the evening of April 2, nearly 3000 structures in over 600 cities and 45 countries will be illuminated in blue and join Autism Speaks, the leading advocacy awareness organization, to shine a bright light on autism.
The public can actively participate in LIUB by visiting LightItUpBlue.org. The website provides a number of fun and creative ideas, from downloading the Light It Up Blue iOS or Android App — allowing users to turn their own pictures blue — to hosting autism-themed gatherings, wearing the Autism Speaks puzzle piece pin, and purchasing specially marked blue light bulbs and LED lanterns, sold exclusively at The Home Depot, to turn whole neighborhoods blue. The site also accepts donations to fund Autism Speaks’ awareness and research efforts.
President Mitchell also presented a proclamation to the local Autism Speaks organization in recognition of Autism Awareness Day and Autism Awareness Month.
Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism.