White House Says No To Autism Speaks Effort

By Michelle DiamentMarch 4, 2011 Text Size  A  A

Despite a social media push from Autism Speaks, the White House says it will not be lighting up blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day next month.

Autism Speaks encouraged its members to flood the White House with messages on Facebook and Twitter to encourage President Barack Obama to light his home blue on April 2 in honor of autism awareness.

Already, over 250 landmarks around the world will participate in the advocacy organization’s annual “Light It Up Blue” initiative including the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Niagara Falls, Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

“Lighting the White House, America’s most prominent building, blue would certainly elevate awareness of autism and World Autism Awareness Day to another level,” said Adam Pockriss, an Autism Speaks spokesman.

But the White House told Disability Scoop on Friday that 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. will not participate. No reason was given for the decision.

“The administration looks forward to commemorating autism awareness month and world autism day and remains committed to finding the causes and treatments for autism as well as providing community-based services and support for persons on the autism spectrum,” said White House spokesman Shin Inouye.

Last year, more than 200 buildings went blue in honor of World Autism Awareness Day, which was established by the United Nations in 2007.


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