This year, the White House has decided to align itself with a good cause by bathing itself in blue light for a day and night. Sunday, April 2nd marks the ninth annual World Autism Awareness Day, which the White House will observe by changing its color to blue as part of Autism Speaks’ Light it Up Blue campaign.
By participating in the campaign, President Donald Trump will fulfill a campaign promise to the late Suzanne Wright, a co-founder of Autism Speaks, one of the main organizations supporting World Autism Awareness Day. Those behind the campaign hope that it will inspire people around the world to research and discover more about autism and its causes and symptoms. The choice of blue comes from the logo of Autism Speaks, which is a blue puzzle piece.
Many international organizations and individuals take part in World Autism Awareness Day. This year, the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center in New York City will participate in the Light It Up Blue campaign, as will Fenway Park in Boston, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, and the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, UK. The organization encourages individuals to participate by wearing blue and sporting official Autism Speaks gear.
Autism Speaks is a nonprofit founded in 2005 that aims to raise awareness, fund research, and provide resources to children with autism spectrum disorders. Over the next decade, the organization hopes to learn more about the origins of autism and increase early diagnosis to help young people with autism spectrum disorders find resources sooner. Of course, they also aim to continue their current research interests.
The White House’s decision to participate in the awareness campaign demonstrates an admirable decision to lay politics to the side and embrace a nonprofit organization that focuses on health, scientific research, and medical and emotional progress for children and adults. Autism Speaks ultimately aims to help people with autism spectrum disorders live productive, healthy lives in a world where neurotypical and non-neurotypical people alike accept those of different abilities, and the White House’s support of that goal Sunday is heartening.