IUP Phi Sigma Pi planned several events for Autism Awareness Week at IUPIndiana University of Pennsylvania's national co-ed honor fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, has planned several events for the third annual Autism Awareness Week at IUP as part of April's National Autism Awareness Month campaign.

This year, all funds raised during the week will benefit the Special Needs Activity Program at IUP. SNAP is a program for community children and adults with disabilities, offering them supervised physical activities.

Members of Phi Sigma Pi attach blue cellophane to residence hall windowsTo raise awareness, members have put blue cellophane on the windows of campus residential buildings to “light up the campus blue.” Bright blue is a color used by many national autism organizations to symbolize autism awareness.

Stephenson Hall is lit up blue for Austism Awareness WeekMembers of the fraternity also are selling t-shirts throughout the week to raise funds. Order forms will be available during all the week's events at designated tables. Orders may also be placed by e-mailing event cochair Elizabeth Gardner at e.c.gardner@iup.edu.

Program organizer and chair Oktober Appleby, a disability services and child development and family relations double major from Latrobe, hopes that the week's events help to make everyone more aware of autism. “Eventually, we hope that when anyone on campus sees a blue ribbon, they will recognize it as a symbol for autism.”

Schedule of Events

  • April 3, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., “Piece by Piece.” Members of the fraternity will be handing out blue ribbons and buttons at Stapleton Library, Hadley Union Building, and in the Oak Grove.
  • April 4, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the film Swim Team will be shown in Stouffer Hall's Beard Auditorium. This film is about how children with disabilities are contributing to their school athletic teams. The film screening is in partnership with IUP's Council for Exceptional Children and the IUP Best Buddies organization.
  • April 5, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., “Life with Autism.” This panel discussion includes a group of experts talking about living with autism. Following the panel discussion, Alicia Pence, a faculty member in the IUP Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services Department, will offer a lecture on the transition between high school and college for children with disabilities.
  • April 6, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., advocacy photoshoot, Hadley Union Building. Persons may take photos for a special photo display to show support for autism awareness.
  • April 7, 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., fundraising dinner, Spaghetti Benders, 563 Philadelphia St., Indiana. Members of the fraternity will be handing out cards on campus during the week to be shown at the restaurant at time of purchase to have 25 percent of the purchase to go to Autism Awareness Week.
  • April 8, noon to 2:00 p.m., Autism Awareness March. The march will begin and end in the Wallwork Hall quad. Event organizers will offer remarks following the march.

Information about Autism Awareness Week is also on Facebook at Autism Awareness Week Annual Event.

Group Photo Information: Front, from left: Lizzie Gardner, a disability services major from Monroeville; Steph Daugherty, a child development and family relations major from Lebanon; Zak Tobias, a finance major from Honey Brook; Alexandra Gonzalez, a fashion merchandising major from Downingtown; and Danielle Catapano, a nursing major from Langhorne.

Second row, from left, Dillon Hogg, a history major from Adrian; Lataya Elder, a natural sciences major from Philadelphia; Lane Loughner, a marketing major from Latrobe; Brittany Searight, a marketing major from Export; and October Appleby, event chair, a disability services and child development and family relations double major from Latrobe