Researchers estimate that as many as 70-90% of people with autism are unemployed and will experience longterm unemployment. College and university graduates with autism aren’t excluded from this trend, with 85% of recent graduates with autism experiencing longterm unemployment, even while the national average is 4.5%.
CEOs now rank diversity and inclusion as a top organizational priority, but even as companies have made progress on closing wage gaps or diversifying their executive leadership, overall employment for people with autism still lags. That’s because few corporate diversity strategies prioritize hiring people with disabilities or who are neurodivergent, and even fewer organizations have established best practices for accommodations and support.
It’s also because too many prejudiced leaders believe that people with autism are burdens – for whom onerous accommodations must be made – and not the assets they truly are.
Here are 15 employer-oriented resources to help you rethink your diversity and inclusion strategy to include people with autism, and to help you understand the value these employees will bring to your organization:
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- Diversity and Inclusion: Why Training Isn’t Enough: Burt Rea digs into how diversity and inclusion training doesn’t necessarily equate to culture change.
- Hiring Employees with Autism: Donna M. Owens writes at SHRM about the importance of on-the-job support to set your employees up for success.
- How Can Employers Support Autistic Workers?: Jenny Holt writes that supporting autistic workers requires workplace accommodations but that they will ultimately benefit your organization.
- How to Hire an Employee With Autism: Arianne Garcia offers step by step advice for transforming your workplace culture and hiring practices so that you can better recruit employees with autism.
- Diversity and Inclusion: The Reality Gap: Most CEOs call diversity and inclusion a top priority, but few organizations have substantive programs in place. Why is that?
- How to Create an Autism Hiring & Recruiting Program: Dave Kearon gives step by step advice on how to adapt your recruiting and hiring practices so that you don’t exclude neurodivergent candidates.
- Get Diversity and Inclusion Out of a Silo: Khalil Smith writes that D&I can’t be a separate department or set of duties at your organization, but should instead be a guiding principle for every part of it.
- Neuroinclusion & the Autistic Job Candidate: Steve Eisenberg gives the candidate perspective on how noninclusive recruiting and hiring practices affect your candidate pool.
- Why Diverse Teams Are Smarter: David Rock and Heidi Grant take a data-based look at why diverse teams that include people different points of view and ways of thinking are smarter and more creative.
- Remote Work is Helping Aspies to Finally Shine: Jenny Holt writes about how offering remote work as an option can give neurodivergent workers new opportunities.
- Benefits Of Hiring People On The Autism Spectrum: Learn about how some employers have found unique benefits to hiring people with autism.
- Hiring and Training Employees on the Spectrum: Taryn Oesch writes about how to adapt your training processes to be more inclusive to neurodivergent employees.
- How Hiring People with Disabilities Can Increase Your Bottom Line: Diversifying your candidate pool and hires is important not just for moral reasons, but there’s a compelling business case to me made that it also drives profits.
- How Entrepreneurs Are Changing Driving Change in Hiring People with Autism: Learn how entrepreneurs and startup owners are innovating in the recruiting and hiring space.