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    University Promotes Autism Awareness in April

    The University of Scranton will recognize World Autism Awareness Day’s “Light it Up Blue” (April 2) and National Autism Awareness Month (April). The University is honoring all those who are bravely and selflessly responding to COVID-19 by illuminating a red cross on a blue background on the St. Thomas Gateway.
    April 2, 2020

    The University of Scranton, through its Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence (ACCE) executive hub, will recognize World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 and National Autism Awareness Month for the month of April.

    ACCE is part of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar regional initiative led by the AllOne Foundation intended to significantly enhance the service delivery system for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families living in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. The Centers have been providing services remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The autism community across this country is being affected in ways that many might not understand, such as disruption to routine or schedules, caregiver support and respite care not to mention the challenges for visiting medical facilities at this time,” said University of Scranton alumnus Christopher Banks, president and CEO of the Autism Society of America. “With this pandemic, everyone has to rapidly adjust and learn – health care professionals, parents and caregivers alike – with no preparation time.”

    The University is honoring all those who are bravely and selflessly responding to COVID-19, especially acknowledging the service of alumni and members of the University community, by illuminating a red cross on a blue background on the St. Thomas Gateway from sunset until 10 p.m. each evening. The University will also highlight the actions of alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff through individual stories on the Royals Respond website and in an honor roll. Submissions can be made at scranton.edu/royalsrespond.

    In addition, the ACCE executive hub, housed in Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies, is planning to host virtual town hall meetings for parents with ASD individuals in their families and caregivers during April.

    The Autism Society of America is the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization. In 1970, the Autism Society launched an ongoing nationwide effort to promote autism awareness and assure that all affected by autism are able to achieve the highest quality of life possible. In 1972, the organization launched Autism Awareness Week, which developed into Autism Awareness Month. In addition, April 2 is the 13th annual World Autism Awareness Day, with this year’s theme of “Light It Up Blue” in recognition of people with autism and those who love and support them. Blue is the color associated with autism.

    Additional information about ACCE can be found at www.alloneforautism.org.

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