Goody Awards Launches Autism Acceptance Month Cause Marketing Campaign

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With the CDC report released last week that 1 in 88 American children now have some form of the autism spectrum, Goody Awards launches a cause marketing campaign for Autism Acceptance Month on Autism Acceptance Day (April 2, 2012.) This campaign will include a special Golden Goody Award recognizing the social good contributions of a teenage autistic animator, a sweepstakes to give an iPad to an autistic child through Facebook and Twitter and support of Rethinking Autism’s new PSA (Public Service Announcement) launching in mid-April. For many on the autism spectrum, computers and iPads have been game changers, as reported last fall on 60 Minutes.

In support of Autism Acceptance Month in April, Goody Awards ( launches a cause marketing campaign today (Autism Acceptance Day) to support changing the conversation about Autism to acceptance and appreciation versus negative tones often associated with Autism Awareness Month. In 2002, the estimate was 1 in 150 American children had some form of autism, and with the new CDC estimate of 1 in 88 children, this 78% increase makes it’s even more important to increase our understanding. To recognize the many social good contributions of an individual who is changing this conversation, Goody Awards will be presenting a 17-yr-old Award-Winning Visual Effects Animator, Dani Bowman, who is autistic with a Golden Goody (top award like getting an Oscar in Social Good) in April.

Dani Bowman started her own animation company at only 11 years old, Powerlight Studios, and has since illustrated two anti-bullying books, writes and voice acts 9 different cartoon series, illustrated and did the voiceover for the upcoming Rethinking Autism PSA and is currently working on a film. Dani aspires to be the Temple Grandin of her generation, and recently did red carpet interviews at the Los Angeles Animation Film Festival with animators such as Academy Award Nominee Bill Plympton Dani Bowman commented, “I am honored to be the recipient of the Golden Goody Award. As a person with autism, I think it’s important to stand up against bullying for those in the autism community, spread positive awareness of autism and inspire others with autism to follow their own dreams.” Dani’s uncle and guardian Patrick Eidemiller added, “It is wonderful that Dani has been selected for the Golden Goody Award acknowledging her work in the autism community and knowing that she is making a difference in the lives of others.” In support of Autism Acceptance Month, Dani just posted this iReport message on CNN

This Goody Awards cause marketing campaign will include a sweepstakes on Facebook and Twitter where individuals can make a difference by entering to win an iPad (random drawing) plus give an iPad to an autistic child. Dani Bowman will select the autistic child who receives the iPad based on a needs survey that she is currently doing with Extra Special Kids on Facebook. The iPad, like other computers, is an effective communications tool for many on the autism spectrum. The touch screen and layout make the iPad more accessible for children with coordination or learning difficulties; and these children may find sliding and tapping easier than either typing or writing. Moreover, the iPad can be easily carried, and thus is helpful for calming and focusing children on the go. (Social Good Shout Out #HeroGoody #GoodyAwards to former MySpace Designer and Manager, Charles Saltzman, for designing the sweepstakes graphics.)

Dana Commandatore and her husband, Actor Michael Broderick co-founded Rethinking Autism and are raising an autistic son with the hope of a better quality of life for autistic people and their families. Rethinking Autism hosted Temple Grandin as a speaker and will be releasing a new Rethinking Autism PSA next week that is illustrated with voice-over by Dani Bowman and includes several other autistic contributors. The new PSA will be posted on and the Goody Awards Facebook and Twitter. Dana Commandatore shared, "It is a pleasure to work with Dani. Her talents, drive and determination are impressive for any 17-year-old. We are used to hearing about all the challenges associated with autism, there is also a beautiful side that is evident in Dani and her work."

There are many autistic children who love math, music, videos and games, and are making a great impact on digital entertainment. To help bring awareness to the digital entertainment community, Goody Awards will be speaking at a Digital LA Social Good startups event on Tuesday, April 3rd in Los Angeles to kick off this campaign. CEO/Founder Liz H Kelly, shared, “We’re honored to have met Dani Bowman through Rethinking Autism and work together on this campaign. I also have an 8-yr-old nephew with autism who loves playing on the computer, his iPod Touch, and making movies. We learn from him every day.” For a timely interview about the Goody Awards, the Golden Goody Award presentation to Dani Bowman this month, and Rethinking Autism's new PSA, please contact: Liz Smith, 310-987-7207.

About the Goody Awards
Goody Awards were created to empower individuals to recognize social good via social media. Users can tweet using #GoodyAwards, the Award Type (#GoodDeedGoody, #HeroGoody or #TeamGoody) and the WHY. Goody Awards has put together a global team of entertainment, technology and activist leaders who are passionate about recognizing and doing good, and has launched social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube The CEO and Founder, Liz H Kelly, has helped build companies and recognition programs for Fox Interactive Media/MySpace, the first Sprint PCS / Sprint Spectrum, T. Rowe Price and several internet start-ups in Los Angeles, CA. Global Media Experts, Actors, Actresses, Producers, Mobile Leaders and Philanthropists are all part of the Goody Awards Advisory Board.

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Liz Smith
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