Tapping the Autism Advantage
Perhaps you've noticed, online and off, the world has been "lighting up blue" in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Held annually in April, this nationwide initiative promotes autism awareness and inclusion and works to ensure that people on the autism spectrum can participate fully in all aspects of community life.
Today more than ever, this spirit of full inclusion extends to the workplace. Employers of all sizes are finding new ways to meet workforce needs by capitalizing on the skills of neurodiverse individuals, including those with autism. For example, they’re adjusting recruitment, hiring and onboarding practices to increase access, and tapping people with autism for roles that optimize their skills and talents. They see these efforts as a competitive advantage that benefits the bottom line while fostering a positive, productive and inclusive workplace.
Businesses interested in recruiting and advancing people with autism can take advantage of some free resources to help them do so successfully. One is the Office of Disability Employment Policy's new autism webpage, which is a gateway to valuable resources on the subject. Featuring tools for employers, individuals with autism (including youth), service providers and policymakers, the page is a centralized resource for supporting workers and job seekers on the autism spectrum.
Small business owners, in particular, may want to bookmark the Job Accommodation Network's Accommodation Ideas for Autism Spectrum Disorders. This resource offers tips on interviewing, communicating with and supporting the on-the-job performance of people with autism. Often, simple adaptations to these workplace processes are all that’s necessary to unlock the "autism advantage," which can be a key strategy in the race for untapped talent.
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