Recognition of World Autism Awareness Day to Benefit Moody Clinic
The “Light it up Blue” theme of Autism Speaks, a leading autism science and
will dominate the courtyard at Main that day with
music, games, “blue” baked goods, information tables and a free speech alley.
Dr. John Cook, Associate Professor of Communication.
All funds raised during the expo will be donated to
Brownsville’s Moody Clinic
, a non-profit
outpatient rehabilitation therapy clinic for children with special needs
Clinic Director, will be among the speakers scheduled over the lunch hour.
Difficult Dialogues for Valuing Diversity, an elective
communication class taught by Dr. John Cook
Associate Professor of Communication
and the Communication
, a student-led campus organization, are in charge of the day’s
“We were so impressed when the UTB Communication Council students
made a fact-finding visit to Moody Clinic,” said Carol DeMoss, Community
Patient Liaison at Moody Clinic. “They were inquisitive and asked appropriate
and meaningful questions. And then we visited their class, and we were even
more amazed at the way they are going about setting up this event. Dr. Cook is
letting them take charge, and we watched them sharing ideas and being inventive,
and that was exciting for us to see.”
Alexandra Huerta, a senior marketing and communication
student from Brownsville and the Communication Department event coordinator
intern, said the most popular game of the day will undoubtedly be the paint
“Dr. Cook has bravely volunteered to be the target of these
blue paint balloons,” Huerta said. “What student, no matter their major,
wouldn’t love to take aim at a professor – even one we all love – to see him
suffer, just a little, as the balloons are hurled in his direction.”
Other activities will include blue nail polish manicures, a
photo booth and face painting with puzzle piece shapes, the autism icon.
Students have begun selling $5 raffle tickets for drawings
that will take place toward the end of the expo, between 1:30-2 p.m. The top
prize is a new Kindle donated by Philly Cheesesteak; second is a Sony hand-held
video camera; third is four passes to Cinemark Theater; fourth is a blender;
fifth is a Red Lobster gift card; and sixth is a backpack.
In the evening, a free showing of “Rain Man”
will take place at 7
p.m. in Salon Cassia, second floor of Main. Donations for the movie will be
accepted, and all funds from movie refreshment sales will also go to Moody
April is Autism
; in 2008 the United Nations General Assembly declared April
2 to be World Autism Awareness Day. On April 2, the Empire State Building in
New York City, among other iconic buildings throughout the world, will be lit
with blue lights in recognition of Autism Speaks “Light it up Blue.”
On the UTB campus, the Main fountain on University Boulevard
will join these global icons with its own blue lights.