3rd Annual Light Up Danbury Blue for Autism Awareness, April 2nd

Report by Paula Antolini, April 1, 2019, 10:34AM EDT

For the third consecutive year, on Tuesday April 2, Danbury will join the Autism Awareness Movement as families of loved ones in the spectrum, community agencies, activists, the City of Danbury, Danbury Public Library, and David Parks – owner of Spin Doctor Entertainment, will come together to light up our public library blue for Autism, and host awareness focused events for all ages throughout the day.

WHAT: 3rd Annual Light Up Danbury Blue for Autism Awareness, Hosted by Emanuela Palmares and Wecahr Greater Danbury

WHEN: April 2, 2019, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

WHERE: Danbury Library, 170 Main Street, Danbury, CT

Schedule of events will be as follows:

4:00 PM – Story hour with “Celebrity Reader” Danbury Police Chief Patrick Ridenhour – a reading of ” I Will Light It Up Blue” by Kerry Magro, an award-winning national speaker and best-selling author who has become a role model in the disabled community. Non-verbal at 2.5 and diagnosed with autism at 4, Kerry has overcome countless obstacles to get to where he is today. (Recommended for all ages) Register at www.danburylibrary.org

5:00 PM – Screening of Deej – A film about a non-speaking young man who dreams of autistic civil rights. The documentary film Deej, with its insider view of autism, challenges us all to live inclusion. Followed by a panel discussion presented in partnership with WeCAHR. Sponsored by Autism Behavioral Health. (Recommended for ages 15 and up, educators, service providers, and parents of special needs children) Register at ww.danburylibrary.org

6:30 PM – Light Up Blue Ceremony – A sensory friendly ceremony featuring speakers, musical performances and a “light up” moment which the library will be lit up blue honor of world autism awareness day. Please note that a lower sound level will be used at the ceremony, attendees with special needs are free to vocalize and walk around, and there will be designated quiet area and ear muffs available. (Recommended for all ages)

“Autism directly affects 1 in 68 children including 1 in 42 boys. My 6-year-old son, is one of them. We started our journey down the autism road with early intervention. He was diagnosed at age 2 and has received autism intervention services since and made incredible gains in some areas. That is why raising Autism Spectrum Disorder awareness is so important. Encouraging early detection and intervention, acceptance and understanding can in the long run improve the quality of life of all individuals in the spectrum, no matter what age,” said Emanuela Palmares organizer of the event.

The event traditionally held at City Hall, will be hosted at the Danbury Public Library with the intention to highlight a community campaign to raise funds for Friends of the Danbury Library Inc, to furnish a new sensory room, that will be created within the library’s children’s department on the second floor, with certain objects and activities designed to stimulate children with special needs. The room will be the first of its kind in a library in Connecticut. Donations can be made via: https://www.gofundme.com/help-us-furnish-danbur-library039-s-sensory-room

“A core tenet of the Danbury Library’s mission is to be a welcoming destination and responsive to the varied needs of our city’s diverse community. With the addition of a sensory room, the Library will be a model for all public places in creating a supportive environment for the sensory sensitive population and promoting inclusivity. There are undeniable educational, social, and emotional, benefits of a child visiting the library regularly, and we are committed to enhancing the accessibility of the Danbury Library for all children,” said Katie Pearson, Director Danbury Library.