April Was National Autism Awareness Month.
The Dan Marino Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of persons with autism and other developmental disabilities, marked April as National Autism Awareness Month via social media. The Bank of America Building located in Downtown Fort Lauderdale also committed to raising awareness by lighting up their building in BLUE (the international color for Autism) on National Autism Awareness Day. The Light it Up Blue global initiative is intended to raise international awareness of autism in support of both World Autism Awareness Day held each year in April and Autism Awareness Month (April) celebrated in the United States. Supporters were encouraged to join the Dan Marino Foundation by lighting their homes or businesses in BLUE. According to CDC, 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism every year, and 1 in 7 adults has a developmental disability. The average age of students enrolled at Marino Campuses (a project of The Dan Marino Foundation) is 18 – 30. Through post-secondary education in Broward and Miami locations, the students obtain knowledge and technical skill to prepare them for entry-level employment in the fields of computer technology and hospitality. In addition to technical skills, both programs: Hospitality and Computer Technology offer extensive courses that focus on learning independent living and employment skills. As reported last year, the average employment rate for graduates at the Marino Campus 2018/2019 Academic Year was 74.09% compared to the national employment rate of 17%. Founded by Dan and Claire Marino shortly after their son, Michael’s, autism diagnosis in 1992, The Dan Marino Foundation has a long and distinguished history of life-changing programs and services, with the mission to “empower individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.” The Foundation has raised more than $80 million to create and support unique and impactful initiatives.