Autism In The Workplace: A Spectrum Of Hiring Choices

www.oann.com | 4/5/2016 | Staff
MysticHeartMysticHeart (Posted by) Level 3
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Like many transplants to Chicago, Chris Easton needed to adjust to winter after moving from Atlanta to take a job as a database engineer at the accounting firm EY.

Among other work-life skills, Easton, 23, who is on the autism spectrum, learned the key to surviving the bone-chilling winds from Lake Michigan: layering.

Georgia - Chicago - Transition - Easton

“Moving from Georgia to Chicago was pretty different. It was definitely a transition,” Easton said.

EY is among a handful of major companies recruiting and hiring individuals with autism spectrum disorders and supporting them at the office. These jobs tend to focus on specific technical skills that can suit individuals on the spectrum who are challenged by social interactions.

Numbers - Microsoft - Program - Deloitte - Round

The numbers are small so far – Microsoft has about 80 involved in its program, while Deloitte just hired eight into its inaugural round. Dell started with three hires last summer and is doubling this year.

The hiring need, on the other hand, is exponential. Some 1.1 million computing-related jobs are expected by 2024, but U.S. graduation rates are not nearly keeping pace, says Lou Candiello, head of military and disability recruiting programs at Dell. “We need to think different about attracting talent,” Candiello said.

Population - Autism - Spectrum - Percent - Neurodiverse

With an estimated global population of 70 million on the autism spectrum – 80 percent of whom are unemployed or severely underemployed – the neurodiverse community is a huge pool to tap.

In aggregate, programs for autistic workers are helping about 200 people a year, while thousands more graduate high school and head “straight to their couches,” said Tara Cunningham, chief executive of Specialisterne USA, a nonprofit organization that helped launch the Autism @ Work network with Microsoft, EY, JPMorgan Chase and SAP. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands more graduate and never enter the workforce.

Individuals - Spectrum - Tech - Jobs

Recruiting individuals on the spectrum for highly prized tech jobs starts very small,...
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