Jun 15

How Can Employers Close the Autism Gap?

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For the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of children born who are diagnosed with autism. About 1 in 68 children today has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Today, it is estimated that 1.5 million American adults are on the spectrum. For many of these individuals, it can be challenging to find full time employment.

A report published by the National Autistic Society has revealed that just 16% of those with autism currently work full time. Of those interviewed, only four of ten claimed they had worked in their lifetime, yet 75% of individuals with autism want to — and are willing — to work. Only 32% of individuals with autism are in some kind of paid work compared with 47% of people with a disability. With so many willing and capable of work, this is an indication that some companies are failing to recruit individuals with autism.

Barriers to Employment

A growing number of companies are beginning to realize that they may be missing out on important traits when they do not hire autistic individuals. Skills such as tenacity, approaching problems from a different perspective, and keen attention to detail are highly sought after and are prevalent in many individuals on the spectrum.

Some employers, however, face difficulty finding support in hiring those with autism. According to the chief executive of the National Autistic Society, employers worry about “getting it wrong” in terms of finding support for employees with autism due to misconceptions about what autism actually is and not knowing what is needed to help these individuals thrive.

Big adjustments are not necessary to help those with autism feel welcome. Many employers in the United States have successfully implemented business practices that incorporate individuals with autism. When hiring individuals with autism, it may be beneficial to make slight adjustments to job descriptions, job application forms, and the job interviewing process with considerations for those with autism in mind.

If you are a business struggling to implement more autism-friendly procedures, or are an individual with autism who believes he or she may have been discriminated against at work because of autism, you deserve to understand your employee rights. A Virginia Beach workplace discrimination attorney can help you explore your legal options. Contact Bertini Law by calling (757) 222-9165 or contacting us online to schedule a consultation.

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