A community walk under the lights of the blue dome at NYUAD’s Saadiyat campus drew over 250 participants

NYU Abu Dhabi lights up blue for Autism Awareness Month - Copy
Press Release

Over 250 participants joined together on World Autism Day (Saturday, April 2) for a symbolic community walk around the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Saadiyat campus. Part of the University’s month-long Autism Awareness campaign, NYUAD hosted the walk to highlight the need for increased acceptance and education around autism in the UAE.

For a second year in a row, NYUAD also joined the global #LightItUpBlue movement to help shine a light on autism, by turning the exterior of the campus dome blue in recognition of Autism Awareness Month.

The walk provided a unique view of the blue dome and gave participants the chance to enjoy live music, and an array of family-friendly games and activities.

NYUAD Assistant Director of Community Outreach Suparna Mathur said: "Embracing any disability or difference is a personal responsibility, and it was powerful to see the community join us at NYU Abu Dhabi for the Autism Awareness Community Walk to show their collective support for families touched by autism. We are so grateful to our community-based partners who help our student leaders engage meaningfully to give back to the community and work towards a more socially inclusive society."

In an effort to involve the broader community throughout the month, NYUAD is also featuring a series of educational initiatives aimed at raising awareness around autism, including a film screening of The Brain That Sings (April 4) that follows the lives of two boys with autism in the UAE through 3 months of music therapy, by Emirati director, Amal Al-Agroobi; The Drama Project Open Workshop (April 12) in collaboration with Dubomedy, and the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation to celebrate the achievements of young children from the Abu Dhabi Center for Autism and showcase their confidence, talents, and social skills; along with and an Autism Education Conference taking place on April 30th.

NYUAD will also be working closely with valued community-based partner organizations: Autism Support Network - Abu Dhabi (ASN); Goals UAE; UAE-ABA chapter; and Emirates Autism Society for various other activities.

Below is a full list of activities hosted by NYUAD aimed at raising awareness around autism:

Film Screenings
The Brain That Sings
Registration needed here
Monday, April 4. 6:30pm – 8:00pm
NYUAD, Saadiyat Campus, Conference Center

Receiver of the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel Award, 2014 and the People's Choice Award, 2013, The Brain That Sings follows the journey of two boys with autism in the UAE – 19-year-old Mohammed and six-year-old Khalifa – and their progress over three months of music therapy. The film explores the cultural stigma associated with having a special needs child in the Arab world, and the issues the families face when planning for the future of their children.

Workshops
The Drama Project Open Workshop
Tuesday, April 12. 12:00 - 1:00pm
NYUAD Saadiyat Campus, Conference Center
NYU Abu Dhabi, Dubomedy, and ADMAF (Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation) are proud to invite you to celebrate the achievements of young children from the Abu Dhabi Center for Autism in an Open Workshop of the Drama Project.

Under the guidance of Mina Liccione of Dubomedy, NYUAD students have been working with a group of 10 children from the Abu Dhabi Autism Centre, the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs since October 2015, to develop their confidence, talents, and social skills. The Open Workshop invites guests and families to acknowledge their special journey together.
Hosted by:
Office of Community Outreach, NYUAD

Conference
Autism Education Conference
Saturday, April 30. 8:00 AM - 4:00pm
NYUAD, Saadiyat Campus, Conference Center