Last week I received an email from Autism Speaks and the inner special education teacher inside of me thought would be great to share it with y’all. First, a little background info about Autism Speaks:
“Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Their longtime friend Bernie Marcus donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. Since then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We are proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and look forward to continued successes in the years ahead” [Autism Speaks, About Us].
Now, the letter…
We wanted to share a few of updates since the Wright’s visit to the White House for the signing of the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act.
First off, below you will find a link to a video of Suzanne and Bob Wright in front of the White House after the President signed into law the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act “CARA”. This new law renews the historic Combating Autism Act of 2006 for another three years, authorizing $693 million in federal support for autism research and treatment. And it renews a statement by Congress and the President that autism is a national health priority. Combined with the original funding – total support will approach $2 billion.
Although the White House didn’t want to make this a press event, the Wrights wrote their own story as this was a huge victory for the autism community. Click here for the link.
The Wrights were pleased that Autism Speaks Board Member Billy Mann, his wife Gena and their son Jasper, had an opportunity to meet with President Obama right before the historic signing. Click here to view photos
Next, on Monday, October 3, NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams featured the autism-friendly October 2 performance of Disney’s The Lion King on their popular “Making a Difference” segment. The Theatre Development Fund (TDF), a not-for-profit performing arts service organization whose mission includes making theatre accessible for all audiences, piloted the “Autism Theatre Initiative,” geared towards individuals and families with autism. This was the first ever autism-friendly performance in Broadway history. Autism Speaks’ Lisa Goring, Vice President of Family Services, provided input and recommendations to TDF and Disney on what alterations could be made to ensure an optimal experience for those with autism. Click here to view the NBC Nightly News segment:
Lastly, with so much good news to share, we’d be remiss not to mention a special tribute the Wrights will receive on Monday, October 17 in NYC from CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, and its founders, Susan and David Axelrod. The Wrights are being honored for their global autism advocacy efforts and Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be on hand to help celebrate. Autism Speaks congratulates the Wrights on this very special occasion!
I look forward to sending you more good news in the near future!
Managing Director, Co-Founders Office
That’s GREAT news 😀
Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright speaking about the resigning of CARA:
P.S. Click here for more information about CARA…
Question: What GREAT news have you heard recently?