Autism Speaks and White Castle System Inc. announced their "White Castle is Listening," a statewide pledge by the chain to help raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

As part of the initiative, White Castle has committed to making all 45 Michigan locations "autism friendly." Through the education of team members and a continued dedication to spread the word about autism, the restaurant is working to provide those affected by ASD with a safe, positive experience at each location.

"Michigan is Listening" is an awareness campaign that asks the residents of Michigan to pledge to tell 10 people about autism and encourages destinations across the state to pledge to become "autism friendly." Launched at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse by Lt. Governor Brian Calley, the initiative has grown to include the Palace of Auburn Hills, Arts, Beats and Eats and other Michigan landmarks.

White Castle is the first restaurant chain in the country to commit to the campaign.

"We are excited to lead the way on this important charge," said Jamie Richardson, White Castle vice president. "We look forward to providing top quality service for our guests on the spectrum while doing everything we can to help spread the word and help educate others on this disorder."

The chain has expanded its pledge through an awareness contest that asks customers to snap a picture doing the "Michigan is Listening" pose onsite at a White Castle location, upload it to facebook.com/Michiganislistening and be entered in a sweepstakes to win a White Castle tailgate party. The restaurant is also offering a special coupon for two free Sliders to any customer who makes the commitment to tell 10 people about autism.

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