News, Perspective, Projects

Lights on the Spectrum 2022: A Unique Opportunity to Light Up a Life

April 2 is recognized as World Autism Awareness Day. This content has been provided by the Lights on the Spectrum team. Some of the members of the LOTS team including their Advise-Array Board Members and Ambassadors will be available at LightFair 2022 to provide more information about the initiative and how you can participate. Learn more at lightsonthespectrum.org .


The Lighting Community’s Efforts to Support Neurodiverse Hiring

In 2021, a grassroots initiative was kindled in the lighting industry. Folks came together to form a fundraising initiative called Lights on the Spectrum. It is a simple yet powerful idea…to inspire our colleagues in the lighting industry (those of us with careers that involve the Spectrum of Light) to help people who are on the Autism Spectrum. The specific intention is to make a positive and noticeable improvement for Neurodiverse people in the area of their employment.

Unemployment rates for people
on the Autism Spectrum are in the range of 80%.

It is ironic that the rate is so high, given that there is a huge number of available jobs in America. Something is just not right. Valuable talent is being wasted. An opportunity is being squandered.

Most of us have someone in our lives who is on the Autism Spectrum. They may be a family member, a friend or a coworker. We have a unique ability to alter the course of another human being’s life by providing a career path and support for them.

We can expand the power of diversity in our workplaces.

If you could…
Would you help the people listed below find and keep a good job? Maybe with your organization?

Thomas Edison
Nikola Tesla
Albert Einstein
Sir Isaac Newton
Elon Musk

All of these exceptional thinkers are considered to be on the Autism Spectrum.

Or, would you hire Tim Burton or Anthony Hopkins? How about offering a role to Courtney Love or Daryl Hannah?

The lighting industry is powered by innovative, creative, and independent thinkers. Many of them need and deserve career opportunities.

              “The world needs all types of minds.”                                          

Temple Grandin

Welcoming and Celebrating Diversity in the Lighting Industry

There’s a saying: “If you’ve met one person on the spectrum, you’ve met one person on the spectrum”. It means that every individual is different. Lights on the Spectrum does not want to perpetuate a stereotype about people on the spectrum. Not everyone is an Edison or Musk. But everyone has special abilities to bring to bear. We want to celebrate differences and encourage the hiring of diverse people.

What We Do

Lights on the Spectrum is a Third Party Fundraising initiative formed by lighting professionals. We have partnered with the Autism Society of America to make a brighter future for people on the Autism Spectrum.

Last year Lights on the Spectrum generated over $15,000 for the Autism Society of America.

The money raised was used by the Autism Society to expand their National Neurodiversity hiring/employment programs.

Our two major goals for 2022 are to:

  1. Generate > $50,000 that the Autism Society will use to expand Neurodiverse employment programs and services and
  2. Spark a group of lighting companies to institute Neurodiverse Hiring Programs with resources and support from the Autism Society.

There are lots of ways to get involved with LOTS; Lights on the Spectrum.

How You Can Support Lights on the Spectrum

  • Donate a cool light fixture to our upcoming online silent auction. Last year we auctioned beautiful lights from Vode, ILEX, Arturo Alvarez, and wakaNINE for example.
  • Donate an experience that will “light you up”. Some of last year’s most popular experiences were a Day of Surfing with Sean O’Connor, a day of boating with Loren Kessel, and week-long vacation stays in Key West and also in Sequoia National Park.
  • Volunteer your special skills and talents like graphic design and social media expertise.
  • We invite corporate sponsorships and individual donations.

Some of our Advise-Array Board members and Ambassadors will be at LightFair and available to meet. There’s no need to wait to get involved. Reach out to our founder, Lawrence Berman at: lb@lightsonthespectrum.org to learn more.

Check out our website at lightsonthespectrum.org and the Autism Society of America’s site at autismsociety.org

Be a Ray of Light.


Also check out this project case study on Lighting for the Spectrum by Connie Samla and Dave Bisbee.

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