New York, April 2 - Today, NYSE Euronext highlighted the fifth annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) and the start of Autism Awareness Month with a global bell ringing across NYSE Euronext markets in Europe and the United States. NYSE Euronext locations in New York, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris opened or closed the trading day with executives from world autism organizations to raise awareness of autism, a disorder that now diagnosed in a staggering 1 in every 88 American children.
At the New York Stock Exchange, Suzanne and Bob Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, rang The Opening BellSM, joined by iconic American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and Duncan Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext and other special guests to highlight the day: Link to photo.
The NYSE bell ringing commemorated WAAD, Autism Awareness Month and marked the start of Autism Speaks' third annual Light It Up Blue campaign. On the evening of April 2, over 2000 iconic landmarks across North America and the world, including NYSE Euronext markets in Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, London and Paris, lit up in blue to raise awareness of autism.
NYSE Euronext global bell ringings, in collaboration with Autism-Europe included:
- The Dutch Autism Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Autisme) sounded the opening gong at NYSE Euronext Amsterdam: Link to Photo.
- Representatives of Autism-Europe, APEPA and Vlaamse Vereniging Autisme rang the opening bell at NYSE Euronext Brussels: Link to photo.
- The president of the Federação Portuguesa de Autismo (APPDA Lisboa), Isabel Cottinelli Telmo, rang the closing bell at NYSE Euronext Lisbon: Link to photo.
- The Vice-President of Autism-Europe, Mrs. Evelyne Friedel, and André Masin, President of the Association Française de Gestion de services et établissements pour personnes autistes (AFG)" rang the opening bell at NYSE Euronext Paris: Link to photo.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders - autism spectrum disorders - caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by social and behavioral challenges, as well as repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum - a 1000 percent increase in the past 40 years that is only partly explained by improved diagnosis.
About World Autism Awareness Day
On December 18, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 62/139, tabled by the State of Qatar, declaring April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day in perpetuity. This UN resolution established WAAD as one of only three official disease-specific United Nations Days, with the goal of bringing the world's attention to autism, a pervasive disorder that affects tens of millions.
World Autism Awareness Day shines a bright light on autism as a growing global health concern. WAAD activities help to increase and develop world knowledge of the autism crisis and impart information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of people with autism, and features community events around the world where individuals with autism and their families are warmly welcomed and embraced.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed over $173 million to research and developing innovative resources for families. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 95 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.
Autism-Europe is an international association whose objective is to advance the rights of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and their families, to help them improve their quality of life.
This is achieved through:
- Representing persons with Autism before all European Union institutions;
- Promoting awareness of appropriate care, education and well-being for persons with Autism;
- Promoting the exchange of information, good practices and experience in the field of Autism.
Autism-Europe is the umbrella organisation for a network of approximately 80 associations of parents of persons with autism across 30 European countries. Autism-Europe has established a structured dialogue with the institutions of the European Union and the World Health Organisation, to advocate for the rights of persons with ASDs. To maximise its impact on European Union policies, Autism-Europe also works in strategic alliances with other relevant organisations, including the European Disability Forum and the Platform of European Social NGOs.
More information: www.autismeurope.org
About NYSE Euronext
NYSE Euronext (NYX) is a leading global operator of financial markets and provider of innovative trading technologies. The company's exchanges in Europe and the United States trade equities, futures, options, fixed-income and exchange-traded products. With approximately 8,000 listed issues (excluding European Structured Products), NYSE Euronext's equities markets - the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext, NYSE Amex, NYSE Alternext and NYSE Arca - represent one-third of the world's equities trading, the most liquidity of any global exchange group. NYSE Euronext also operates NYSE Liffe, one of the leading European derivatives businesses and the world's second-largest derivatives business by value of trading. The company offers comprehensive commercial technology, connectivity and market data products and services through NYSE Technologies. NYSE Euronext is in the S&P 500 index, and is the only exchange operator in the Fortune 500. For more information, please visit: http://www.nyx.com.
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