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Landmark College Lights It Up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day

by Solvegi Shmulsky

On Thursday, April 2, at 6:30 p.m. Landmark College will illuminate the Strauch Family Student Center in blue lights, part of the observance of the ninth annual United Nation's World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). With blue glow sticks and blue-frosted cookies, students and College community members will gather on the upper campus to share a moment acknowledging neurodiversity and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Like ADHD and dyslexia, ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition—it is rooted in brain development and first becomes apparent in childhood or even infancy. ASD has diverse manifestations, but challenges in the social realm are a central feature.

How will Landmark College Participate?

Landmark College students, faculty, and staff are invited to gather outside Edward Durell Stone Hall at 6:30 p.m. From the hilltop vantage point, the group will see the lit-up Strauch Family Student Center. Inside the Center, colored sleeves will encase the overhead fluorescent lights and blue spotlights will shine from the windows—lighting up like thousands of other buildings across the world. This event is sponsored by the Office of the President, Dr. Peter Eden.

Michael Luciani, vice president for student affairs and dean of campus life, explained the value of showing respect and understanding for fellow classmates and students, which includes individuals who are affected by ASD.

“Everyone has earned a place here and this is where we all belong,” said Luciani. "Light it Up Blue allows us to celebrate the talents, perspectives and contributions of our own students within the Landmark College community while standing in support of individuals and families across the country and across the world.”

World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), celebrated on April 2 annually, was adopted by the United Nations in 2007 to shine a bright light on autism as a growing global health crisis. WAAD activities increase and develop world knowledge of the autism crisis and impart information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism and is a day when individuals with autism are warmly welcomed and embraced in community events around the globe. Autism is one of only three health issues to be recognized by the United Nations with its own day.

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today Landmark College, offering two- and four-year degree options, a graduate level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently, is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. Students, faculty, and other professionals from all over the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model—designed through research and practice to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.

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