January 18, 2011 // Franchising.com // Tempe, AZ – Pump It Up, the nation's largest franchise of indoor inflatable playgrounds for private parties and other events, announced today that it has partnered with Autism Speaks, North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization, to fundraise and design a program that caters to the needs of children with autism.
On April 7, 2011, more than 150 Pump It Up locations across the country will host the "Great Open Jump," rallying local communities to raise funds for Autism Speaks and increase awareness about the disorder that impacts an estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide. Autism Speaks is also working with Pump It Up to enhance its existing "Sensory Jump Time" program, which features games and activities for children with autism. The program is a fun way for children with autism to work on their social skills and gross motor skills in a safe environment.
"With more than 7 million children and families who visit Pump It Up facilities each year, we have a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness about the increasing prevalence of autism in our society and to support families impacted by the disorder," said Lee Knowlton, CEO of Pump It Up. "We're confident that our partnership with Autism Speaks will allow our company to play an even larger role in benefiting the future of children with autism."
Pump It Up began its support of autism in 2007 after many of the indoor, inflatable playgrounds across the country began to notice a trend of families seeking out the sensory environment as a unique place for their children with autism to play in a safe, private, and non-threatening manner. In the last three years, the Pump It Up franchise system has donated more than $110,000 to fund autism research and help support families impacted by autism.
"With its sensory-friendly facilities filled with large, soft inflatable play structures, Pump It Up provides an ideal environment for children with autism and those on the spectrum," said Scott Leibowitz, Autism Speaks National Director of Corporate Relations. "By taking the initiative to create additional programs for children with autism, and to raise funds for Autism Speaks, Pump It Up is setting an example for other companies to follow. We look forward to collaborating on initiatives that will further our mission."
A clear leader in the active children's party industry, Pump It Up is the nation's largest franchise of indoor inflatable playgrounds specializing in private parties for birthdays, and programs, such as corporate events, school outings, field trips and other events. Trained staff provides guests with supervision, food and beverage set-up, and clean-up services. Pump It Up is headquartered in Tempe, AZ with more than 150 locations across the country. For more information about Pump It Up, please visit www.pumpitupparty.com.
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The prevalence of autism increased 57 percent from 2002 to 2006. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called autism a national public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.
Autism Speaks is North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization. Since its inception in 2005, Autism Speaks has made enormous strides, committing over $142.5 million to research through 2014 and developing innovative new resources for families. The organization is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. In addition to funding research, Autism Speaks has created resources and programs including the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, Autism Speaks' Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and several other scientific and clinical programs. Notable awareness initiatives include the establishment of the annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, which Autism Speaks celebrates through its Light it Up Blue initiative. Also, Autism Speaks award-winning "Learn the Signs" campaign with the Ad Council has received over $249 million in donated media. Autism Speaks' family resources include the Autism Video Glossary, a 100 Day Kit for newly-diagnosed families, a School Community Tool Kit and a community grant program. Autism Speaks has played a critical role in securing federal legislation to advance the government's response to autism, and has successfully advocated for insurance reform to cover behavioral treatments in 23 states thus far, with bills pending in an additional 14 states. Each year Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in more than 80 cities across North America. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit www.autismspeaks.org.