Birmingham joins the world in shining a light on autism
The Library of Birmingham was turned blue on Wednesday April 2, joining the likes of Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House and Niagara Falls, in a major global campaign to raise awareness about autism.
The library is one of thousands of high profile buildings and landmarks across the world to ‘Light It Up Blue’ for World Autism Day on Wednesday April 2. The building will be bathed in blue light from 5pm.
People across the city with autism will also find themselves in the spotlight as part of a push from Birmingham City Council and Autism West Midlands to highlight the issue of Autism in adults in Birmingham.
The campaign will include:
- A series of posters featuring local adults with autism, and highlighting the strong individuality of people with the condition.
- A new website – www.autismwestmidlands.org.uk/aware
- A radio campaign
- Bus and train advertisements.
On Tuesday April 1 a new Advice and Guidance service was launched in Birmingham to help adults with autism understand their condition, the support they may need for it and how that support can be accessed.
World Autism Day also sees the launch of Connect, the UK’s first ever autism social network. Launched and managed by Autism West Midlands, the site aims to connect members of the autism community and show them that they are not alone.
The campaign follows the successful launch last year of Birmingham’s three-year Autism Strategy Vision for adults over 18. Developed by the Birmingham Partnership Autism Board, the city’s strategy will ensure that services are in place to meet the needs and deliver better outcomes for those people with the condition, and support their families living in Birmingham to care for them.
Councillor Steve Bedser, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing said: “Birmingham has a strong partnership approach to the way we support and care for people with autism in the city, and the launch of the Advice and Guidance Centre underlines that commitment.
“The campaign reflects the positive side of autism and shows just how much potential each individual has, and I urge everyone to go on to the campaign website to find out more about some of the amazing people involved.”
Dr Ashok Roy, Chair of the Birmingham Autism Partnership Board, said: “The Birmingham Adult Autism Strategy sets out to raise autism awareness in the city, for ordinary people as well as frontline staff such as general practitioners and the police. We are building on this to develop a number of diagnostic services for people who are suspected of having autism, and providing social and employment opportunities in the local community.”