Governor Wes Moore of Maryland has declared April as Autism Acceptance Month in recognition of the contributions made by individuals with autism and their advocates. During the event, the governor presented a proclamation and a governor’s citation to Marcus Moore, an individual living with autism who created Moore Crunch Pretzels, and Ken White, General Manager of Historic Inns of Annapolis, for their support and promotion of opportunity, access, and choice for individuals with autism.
In his speech, Governor Moore emphasized the incredible strengths and gifts possessed by individuals with autism, which often go untapped. He called on everyone to celebrate the autism community and continue to advocate for and support the opportunities they need to succeed, not just in April but every month of the year.
Marcus Moore, who lives with autism, received a governor’s citation in recognition of his contributions to the autism community and for his self-advocacy. Moore and his family created Moore Crunch Pretzels, which are now available online and in several local stores. The governor praised Moore for his entrepreneurial spirit and his success in achieving economic self-sufficiency.
Ken White, General Manager of Historic Inns of Annapolis, also received a citation in recognition of his support and promotion of opportunity, access, and choice for individuals with autism. White has been instrumental in spotlighting Moore Crunch Pretzels and has opened his commercial kitchen for use as Marcus expanded his business.
“There are many ways a business can support autistic individuals in their pursuit of economic opportunity beyond hiring. This includes mentorship, networking, and resource sharing,” said Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty. “We appreciate the governor’s commitment to recognizing that everyone has skills and talents to contribute, including the autism community.”
The proclamation of Autism Acceptance Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges faced by individuals with autism and their families. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 54 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with autism, but many still face significant barriers to education, employment, and social inclusion.
Governor Moore’s proclamation recognizes the importance of supporting the autism community and promoting acceptance and inclusion. Autism Acceptance Month is an opportunity to celebrate the strengths and gifts of individuals with autism and to advocate for the opportunities they need to succeed. With continued support and advocacy, we can ensure that everyone, including those with autism, has the chance to reach their full potential.