In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, Mayor Jackie Biskupski has called for the City and County Building to be lit blue on Saturday, April 2nd. Mayor Biskupski will also issue a proclamation declaring April Autism Awareness Month in Salt Lake City.
“Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States and in the state of Utah,” said Mayor Biskupski. “While we have taken great strides in diagnosing and treating the condition, a diagnosis of autism continues to bring emotional, financial, and societal stress to countless families in our area.”
Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and understanding abstract concepts. It can result in significant lifelong impairment of an individual’s ability to learn, develop healthy interactive behaviors, and understand verbal as well as nonverbal communication.
“Our office’s Coordinator for Disability Rights, Christine Passey, who has a daughter with autism, demonstrates to us each day how strong caregivers and families must be in order to overcome the obstacles presented with an autism diagnosis,” said Mayor Biskupski. “It’s important our community recognize the challenges individuals with disabilities, and their families face, and to build a welcoming community for people of all abilities.”
For it’s part, Salt Lake City voluntarily provides a robust insurance plan that covers autism. The Mayor’s Office is also committed to addressing issues of employment and access for people with disabilities.