Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month!
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Currently, there are far too many adults with autism who are fully capable of succeeding and thriving in the workplace and are unemployed or underemployed. Adults with autism have a wide range of strengths and skills that make them very well-suited and qualified for a variety of jobs. It is time to make employers aware of their potential and expand employment opportunities for adults with autism!
President Barack Obama acknowledged NDEAM in a recent Presidential Proclamation:
“During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we recognize the skills that people with disabilities bring to our workforce, and we rededicate ourselves to improving employment opportunities in both the public and private sectors for those living with disabilities. I urge all Americans to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities and to promote the right to equal employment opportunity for all people.”
Click here to read more from President Obama’s Proclamation.
Click here to see Assistant Secretary of Labor Kathleen Martinez discuss NDEAM.
Expert Speaks: Marcia Scheiner, President and Founder of Asperger Syndrome Training & Employment Partnership (ASTEP)
ASTEP creates and supports programs that promote long-term employment for individuals with Asperger Syndrome (AS) and high functioning autism (HFA) through:
- Educating employers about the benefits of hiring individuals with AS or HFA and the accommodations they may require.
- Developing partnerships between Employers and Vocational Rehabilitation professionals to create a successful workplace environment.
- Providing Managers and colleagues of AS/HFA employees with an understanding of the behavioral differences perhaps seen in their autism spectrum co-workers.
In a 2008 study of 200 families with transition age and adult children with an ASD, conducted by the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, 74% of the respondents were unemployed and 74% of those employed worked less than 20 hours a week.
Click here to read a blog post from Marcia Scheiner about ASTEP and the need for autism awareness in the employment world.