Among the other notable people there were Arlene Cassidy, CEO of Autism NI, Sir Reg Empey, leader of the UUP; Liz Aiken MBE, a founding member of Autism NI who received the MBE in 2007 for her services to Autism; Cllr Michael Humphrey, Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast; Conall McDevitt, SDLP MLA, obo Dominic Bradley, SDLP MLA; and Jerry Newport, American author with Asperger Syndrome whose life provided the inspiration for the film Mozart and the Whale.
Autism NI is a parent led partnership organisation having been formed to promote positive collaboration between parents, professionals and individuals with Autism to address the need for appropriate services.
This partnership ethos extends to the charities promotion of a multi disciplinary, cross agency response to issues such as assessment, diagnosis and early intervention.
The charity's mission to support parents and individuals with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder is core to its work and is based on individualised assessed need.
The charity is committed to promoting best practice, accessible to all irrespective of family circumstances.