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Westchester County Executive George Latimer, County Legislator Catherine Parker and Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH) Commissioner Michael Orth, commemorated World Autism Day on April 2 along with New York area representatives of Autism Speaks. As part of National Autism Acceptance Month, Latimer dedicated the day to recognizing the needs of the autistic community while lifting up available resources.

Latimer said: “As we commemorate World Autism Day this April, let us reaffirm our commitment in Westchester to fostering understanding, acceptance, and support for individuals on the autism spectrum. We must be champions of inclusivity across every avenue, program and opportunity that presents itself. That is how we keep this County pointed forward.”

Parker said: “I am proud to stand together in solidarity today to shine a light on the diverse experiences of individuals with autism, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity. Let’s unite in our efforts to create a brighter, more accepting world for all.”

Orth said: “The Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health is committed to staying at the forefront of assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Join us in taking the time today to help continue to transform the narrative surrounding Autism, fostering acceptance, and sharing our appreciation for all those who support and are part of the Autistic Community.”

Autism Speaks New York Sr. Area Executive Director Carla Sterling said: “When it comes to inclusion, awareness of autism is not enough; at Autism Speaks, our relentless commitment to amplifying the voices, sharing the stories and recognizing the spectrum of needs of the autistic individuals drives the work we do every day.”

In addition to the County naming April 2 as World Autism Day, the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge will be lit this evening in recognition of Autism Speaks and National Autism Month. To learn more about Autism Speaks or their month long “Act Fearlessly for Change” campaign visit


Project LifeSaver Locator Bracelets Program

As part of a project with Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) the County Department of Mental Health offers locator bracelets for children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities whose families are looking for an extra layer of security.

The Project Lifesaver service began in January 2009 and is geared to children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities who are living with their families and who have a history or are at risk of wandering from their caregivers. The program is operated by the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health and the Department of Public Safety, in partnership with Westchester Jewish Community Services. Families with a child or young adult with autism or another developmental disability can obtain a locator bracelet for their child so he/she can be located quickly and easily by the county police using the radio frequency device located in the bracelet.

In addition to the locator devices, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety includes autism awareness training for law enforcement recruits in its curriculum at the Police Training Academy. To learn more about Project LifeSaver and all the related programs, resources and support services for individuals and families that are offered by the Department of Community Mental Health visit:


About Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is dedicated to creating an inclusive world for all individuals with autism throughout their lifespan. We do this through advocacy, services, supports, research and innovation, and advances in care for autistic individuals and their families. Learn more about the efforts Autism Speaks are making in New York at