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85% Autism unemployment is unacceptable: how to help

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I thought I’d write a blog on resources for finding employment for neurodiverse adults, just google a list. Little did I know I was dropping down a rabbit hole into an uncharted landscape. We can read about the Fortune 500 companies moving into neurodiversity employing and about the Employer’s Roundtable of those big employers. Autism Speaks has a downloadable toolkit of guidance for prospective employees, a list of businesses that employ and a link to https://www.thespectrumcareers.com/, which lets job seekers look for jobs and employers to post jobs. But this is maybe 5% of what’s out there.

I began a search talking to everyone from the Fortune 500 employers like SAP, EY and Microsoft and known organizations like Specialisterne USA. I moved on to wonderful organizations that coach, train and place people like Neurodiversity in the Workplace (Philadelphia, Texas/Dell and soon Boston) and the Autism Alliance of Michigan (coaching and placement for Ford and all of Michigan). I began to find nonprofit programs like Different Brains in FL (internship) and TACT in Denver (training in trades). NIH offers internships in science for high school and college students as well as to college graduates. I found IT companies hiring (Daivergent, Aspiritech and Ultranauts); you need to navigate their websites carefully to find out how to apply. There’s small companies hiring (car wash, electronics recycling) and both large businesses training corporations and small new nonprofits training smaller businesses to accept ND employees. There’s for pay job coaches and programs to teach independent skills. This is about 1/4 of what I’ve found.

Parents are forming small businesses to employ their children and others like them across the US, and many autistics have become entrepreneurs themselves. There are few jobs relative to the huge number needing employment, and over 50,000 new potential workers add to the number of jobseekers each year.

Obviously this is more than a blog.

A great majority of these employment, support and training programs are in what they call a “silo”; not many jobseekers know of them, and most of these companies and programs don’t even know about each other. One training program in TX, the nonPareil Institute, said people 5 minutes away didn’t know of them despite coverage on NPR and CNN and in the newspaper.

Enter NeuroClastic – a brand new non-profit (originally part of the Aspergian) – who are rising to the need for centralized information. NeuroClastic has  taken on the job of creating a single website that will be a clearinghouse for all this information and much more. Nothing like this website exists and everyone agrees it is much needed. As the website becomes known more programs and businesses will be vetted and added in the rapidly changing neurodiversity employment scene.

This website will have two functions: to provide information on resources, supports, businesses hiring, and programs for the ND community, and to provide new or existing businesses, programs and support services a way to find each other. This way they can find existing programs like themselves and share effective practices, get training if needed. Hopefully, this can encourage much needed new startups all over the US. There can be models of all kinds of programs that support potential employees and employers that hire NDs.

This blog is a request for help and information. If you want to support the creation of this website, please contribute to the non-profit . It’s tax deductible and this resource website will be an enormous support to the neurodiverse community.  https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UEYETLWYJ6REY&source=url

Also, if you know of local resources, programs, businesses or anything related to neurodiversity employment, please comment or message me. As effective a researcher as I am, I’m only going to scratch the surface because I can’t find everything in the US. As many programs or businesses or useful employment sites that benefit NDs as possible will need to be on this website.

Thank you all!  I’ll post when this website is up.

85% Autism unemployment is unacceptable: how to help


Marcia Eckerd, Ph.D.

Psychologist since 1985, serving on CT ASD Advisory Council, Professional Board SmartkidswithLD


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APA Reference
Eckerd, M. (2020). 85% Autism unemployment is unacceptable: how to help. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/aspergers-nld/2020/03/85-autism-unemployment-is-unacceptable-how-to-help/

 

Last updated: 16 Mar 2020
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