Salem Recognizes World Autism Awareness Day Thursday with Blue Lights & Awareness Walk

City to light blue emergency lights on April 2nd to promote autism awareness

Salem, MA – On Thursday, April 2nd, the City of Salem will observe World Autism Awareness Day by participating in the City’s fourth annual ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign and lighting up the City’s blue emergency lights located at intersections throughout the community. Residents should take note that there is no actual snow emergency in effect on Thursday.

 The campaign is sponsored by Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, and encourages buildings and landmarks across the world to turn their lights blue on April 2nd to promote autism awareness. Partnering in the Salem effort is the City’s No Place for Hate Committee and Parents United of Salem. The Tabernacle Church on Washington Street will also have blue exterior lighting in celebration of the day.

“Autism affects 1 in every 68 children in the U.S. and is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in our country,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Salem is proud to help raise awareness of this increasingly prevalent disorder by participating in the ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign." 

“The Salem No Place for Hate Committee is happy to once again be a sponsor of Salem’s ‘Light It Up Blue’ campaign to promote World Autism Awareness Day,” said committee member Jean Rockett. “This campaign highlights our City’s diversity and reflects our continued support for those with disabilities across Salem.”

Parents United of Salem, a local non-profit parents organization that helps facilitate community service, enrichment and education, will also host the ‘Light It Up Blue’ Autism Awareness Walk on Salem Common on Thursday, April 2nd at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s amazing to see our community grow stronger every year,” said Parents United co-president Melissa Wilson. “The amount of participation in this event has been growing annually, which means we are making a difference. This is what community is: coming together for the greater good.”

For more information on the walk, please contact Melissa Wilson at (978) 968-4888 or by e-mail atmelzwilson@hotmail.com. Information is also available on their website at http://parentsunitedofsalem.org  The walk will be held at the Salem YMCA in the event of inclement weather conditions.

Autism Speaks has a special website, http://liub.autismspeaks.org to highlight the campaign. The “Light It Up Blue” website provides unique and fun ideas about how people can get involved in their local community, from hosting autism-themed gatherings to viewings of autism-themed films and TV programs. The site also accepts donations to fund autism awareness and research efforts.