April 26, 2022. In recognition of April as Autism Acceptance Month and to show support for the autistic community, NYSTEC departments provided gold-themed group photos and participated in the NYSTEC Goes Gold Gathering and Virtual Background Contest.
Competition was fierce as teams shared their virtual backgrounds. The backgrounds may not all have been consistent, but they were all, in some way, gold-related—including gold records and the element symbol “Au” for gold. NYSTEC President and CEO Kevin Owens commented about one of the gold visual backgrounds, “Love this. It kinda gives me Vegas vibes.”
Donations were provided to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. The ASAN mission is to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy equal access, rights, and opportunities. ASAN works to empower autistic people across the world to take control of their own lives and the future of their common community and seeks to organize the autistic community to ensure their voices are heard in the national conversation about autistic people.
“Thank you to everyone who donated, went gold, and participated in the background contest,” said NYSTEC Culture & Engagement Manager Maria Ayoob. “We collected more than $300 for ASAN, which will be matched by NYSTEC.”