News for Immediate Release
April 2, 2014
Governor Corbett Declares April 2 as
Autism Awareness Day
April is National Autism Awareness
Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett has declared
April 2 as Autism Awareness Day in Pennsylvania in recognition of the
challenges faced by individuals diagnosed with autism and their families.
“The number of
individuals with autism who receive services in the commonwealth has nearly
tripled in the last few years, to more than 56,000 Pennsylvanians,"
Governor Corbett said.
National statistics on
the prevalence of autism indicate there could be 130,000 more Pennsylvanians
living with autism who are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with another disorder.
“I encourage all Pennsylvanians to
help in the efforts to raise awareness about autism. I will continue my commitment
to provide better access to services for individuals with autism, as well as
support early diagnosis and early behavioral intervention,” Corbett continued.
Governor Corbett has committed to
increasing the number of individuals served through the commonwealth’s programs
to help them live within their homes and communities. With an additional
investment included in his 2014-15 budget proposal, 100 more individuals with
autism statewide could receive home and community-based services.
governor’s proposal also supports investment in early intervention, which
provides support for students with developmental disabilities, ages three to
five. The total $237.5 million proposed includes $9.5 million to serve an
additional 1,500 children, bringing the total number of students receiving
services to nearly 52,350.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day,
highlighted by a global initiative to “Light it Up Blue” and kick off April as
Autism Awareness Month. Many iconic landmarks and communities take part to
“Light It Up Blue”, including the Capitol building in Harrisburg. Governor
Corbett is also wearing the signature blue pin for the campaign throughout the
day to encourage awareness.
“One child is diagnosed with autism
every 20 minutes,” said Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Secretary
Beverly Mackereth. “We’re working to create a greater public awareness of this
cause and to ensure that services are there for this population.”
The innovative programs administered
by the Department of Public Welfare’s Bureau of Autism Services are among the
only in the nation to focus on serving adults with autism.
The department also funds and
oversees the Autism Services, Education, Research, and Training Collaboratives
(ASERT). For more information on the ASERT Collaborative, visit www.paautism.org or call 1-877-231-4244 to
get connected to local resources.
For more information visit www.dpw.state.pa.us.
Governor’s Office, 717-783-1116
Editor’s Note: The proclamation from
Governor Corbett is included below:
AUTISM AWARENESS DAY
April 2, 2014
WHEREAS, Autism can affect anyone
regardless of race, religion, socio-economic status or geography; and
WHEREAS, the incidence of autism in
the United States is 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys; and
WHEREAS, a child is diagnosed with
autism every 20 minutes; and
WHEREAS, autism affects more than 3
million people in the United States and more than 56,000 individuals in the
WHEREAS, on December 18, 2007 the
United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139 World Autism
Awareness Day by unanimous consent, encouraging UN Member States to take
measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to promote
early diagnosis and early behavioral intervention; and
WHEREAS, the aims for World Autism
Awareness Day are to inform the general public about the global health crisis
of autism, stress the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention, and
to celebrate the unique talents and qualities of individuals with autism; and
WHEREAS, autism is a lifelong
condition in which the bulk of costs may be borne in adulthood, creating an
THEREFORE, In recognition of the
plight faced by individuals diagnosed with autism as well as the difficulties
their families may face, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2014, as AUTISM AWARENESS DAY.
I encourage all Pennsylvanians to provide their support in furthering awareness
GIVEN under my hand and the Seal of
the Governor, at the City of Harrisburg, on this seventeenth day of March in
the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen, and of the Commonwealth the two
hundred and thirty-eighth.