Camarillo, Calif., March 26, 2013 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) will show its support for World Autism Awareness Day by lighting its Bell Tower blue and hosting autism awareness events during the week of April 2-6.
The awareness week kicks off Tuesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in front of the Bell Tower, with a tower-lighting ceremony, public information fair, and speeches by students and parents affected by autism. The information fair will involve groups offering support services from the campus and community, including the Autism Society of Ventura County, regional service providers, and CI’s Disability Resource Programs and Multicultural Programs. The event also celebrates the unique talents and skills of people with autism and warmly welcomes autistic individuals, their families and anyone in the community who wishes to learn more. Participants will receive free blue light bulbs and glow sticks, while supplies last.
Throughout the week, students also will participate in activities supporting autism awareness. Blue lights will be displayed in offices and common areas.
The week culminates in the inaugural Aut2Run, a charity race with a 10K trail run, 5K run/walk, 15K “hero run,” and short fun-K, being held on the CI campus Saturday, April 6, to benefit the Autism Society of Ventura County. More than 40 student volunteers are helping to organize the race. The first run begins at 8 a.m. on the South Quad. Visit www.aut2run.org to register, donate, volunteer and learn more.
The United Nations General Assembly declared April 2 “World Autism Awareness Day” (WAAD) in 2007, with the goal of bringing the world's attention to autism, a pervasive disorder and growing global health concern affecting tens of millions. WAAD activities help to increase and develop world knowledge of the autism crisis and impart information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention.
“Light It Up Blue” was created by Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, to kick off World Autism Awareness Day and Month. Each year, hundreds of thousands of notable venues and iconic landmarks worldwide join in, ranging from colleges and concert halls to the Empire State Building and Egypt’s Great Pyramids.
This marks the second year that CI has joined 250 other college campuses in the “Light It Up Blue” campaign. A picture of CI’s blue Bell Tower from last year’s celebration is featured on the cover of the 2013 Autism Speaks “Light It Up Blue” University Toolkit Flyer, encouraging other campuses to participate.
According to Autism Speaks, autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as autism spectrum disorders, caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated one in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum – a 600 percent increase in the past two decades that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
For the April 2 tower lighting ceremony and public information fair, limited parking is available on campus with the purchase of a $6 daily permit; follow signs to the parking permit dispensers. Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot in Camarillo with bus service to and from the campus. Riders should board the CI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at www.goventura.org.
Parking for participants in the April 6 Aut2Run event is complimentary in designated lots only. Once on campus, follow signs to event parking. Visit www.aut2run.org for event and registration information.
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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.