The Baron-Forness Library lit up blue on April 2 as part of Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue for Autism Initiative.
On April 2, landmarks, businesses and homes around the world are encouraged to shine blue lights to honor individuals and families who are affected by autism.
April is Autism Awareness month. Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability affecting an individual’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Its severity can vary greatly from person to person. The Autism Society, a national advocacy and awareness organization, reports that more than 3.5 million Americans live with autism.
The floodlights illuminating Baron-Forness Library glowed in blue in support of Light It Up Blue. Edinboro University’s Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) will have posters and information available to educate students about autism throughout the month.
“It is important that people learn as many facts as they can about autism to understand that autism affects more and more people every year,” said Kimberly Kennedy, the director of the office of students with disabilities (OSD), in a press release.
About 25 Edinboro students are registered with OSD as having autism that requires special accommodations such as peer advising, extended time in testing, or a quiet area for testing, added Kennedy.
She also said OSD works closely with the office for vocational rehabilitation, a state agency that supports students with autism and helps them throughout their time at the university.
“There are many folks with autism who have contributed great things,” Kennedy said. “Individuals with autism can and want to be part of society and not marginalized.”