Wearing blue will have special significance on April 2 as a show of support for World Autism Awareness Day.
World Autism Awareness Day is an all-day event that recognizes individuals diagnosed under the Autism Spectrum (ASD) and aims to spread awareness by informing others. It is a world-wide event which was established by the United Nations in 2007.
Owen Hunter, a Niagara College Autism and Behavioral Sciences graduate program student, who is working a co-op placement at the Center for Students with Disabilities, hopes that both staff and students wear blue to show their support.
“This is a day to raise awareness and spread information on Autism as well as the programs and services provided for individuals with ASD and their families within the Niagara and Hamilton/Wentworth regions,” said Hunter, one of the organizers for World Autism Awareness Day activities at NC.
A variety of events are planned for the NOTL (9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) and Welland campuses (8:30 a.m. to-4:30 p.m.) for World Autism Awareness Day. There will be a sensory booth to showcase various items that individuals with ASD use or are sensitive too such as sound and smell, allowing individuals to experience autism for a brief moment. There will also be trivia with prizes awarded.
Look out for a group of people wearing blue to take part in a flash mob at 12:20 p.m. (courtyard at the NOTL Campus and main AHI entrance at the Welland Campus).
Donations for the Niagara Chapter of Autism Ontario will also be accepted.
“I feel that this event is important to the college as there are an overwhelming amount of students enrolled in the college with a disability of some sort, especially Autism (ASD), which can go relatively unnoticed in some individuals,” said Hunter. “The college has a reputation of providing the best student services possible and I feel that such an event is representative of that.”
In addition to Hunter, main staff involved in this initiative include Katelyn Wilson (EA student), Trina Washington (counsellor, NOTL campus), and Jason Burdon (counsellor, Welland campus).