National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)!                                                            

To kick off a month full of critical discussions, blogs, "Live Chats" 
with experts, and news items related to the employment of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Autism Speaks is pleased to announce the Oct. 1 release of its Executive Summary from the Autism Speaks Employment Think Tank!

This intensive two-day think tank, which took place in June, focused on the role of adults with ASD in the workforce and on the needs of the current labor market. Key conclusions include insights from business leaders about the effectiveness of employees with autism and recommendations that include possible changes to the traditional job interview. Read the report here!

Click here to read President's Obama's NDEAM Presidential Proclamation.

This year's theme for NDEAM is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?" Visit the Dept. of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy for ideas for employers and employees, resources, and more!

 

Thursday, November 15: Live Chat with Jennifer Kaut M.Ed., BCBA, State Autism Specialist for The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)

 

Our final theme for NDEAM is "Navigating Services”. In summary of last month's activities, today's Live Chat is with Jennifer Kaut M.Ed., BCBA, who is a mother of a teenage son with autism and the State Autism Specialist for The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). In addition, Jennifer is the founder and director of Inspire Behavior Therapy located in Austin, Texas. Click here to read Jennifer's blog about navigating services from earlier this month. Please join us from 4-5pm!

Tuesday, November 6: "Navigating Services - Vocational Rehabilitation Program"

Our theme for this week is "Navigating Services." In summary of last month's NDEAM, today we have a blog from a necessary partner in this process - the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. This blog was written by Jennifer Kaut M.Ed., BCBA, who is a mother of a teenage son with autism and is currently the State Autism Specialist for The Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). In addition, Jennifer is the founder and director of Inspire Behavior Therapy located in Austin, Texas. Jennifer will also serve as the expert for NDEAM's final Live Chat on Thursday, Nov. 15.
 

Thursday, October 25th: Live Chat with Tony Gentry, PhD, OTR/L

This week's theme is "Technology in the Workplace." For our Live Chat today at 4pm, we are thrilled to be speaking with Tony Gentry, PhD OTR/L! Tony is an assistant professor in the occupational therapy department at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he directs the university’s Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory. He is an internationally recognized expert on neurological rehabilitation and assistive technology for people with disabilities. Over the past decade, he has published a series of community-based research findings focused on exploring the efficacy of handheld computers and smart applications as cognitive aids for individuals with autism and other neurological disorders, and the development of computer games for people with disabilities. He is currently conducting a 5-year study of Apple Ipod Touch devices as job support aids for people with autism!

Tuesday, October 23rd: "Holistic Approach toward Independence and Employment"

Our NDEAM theme for this week is “Technology in the Workplace.” This blog details the successful partnership of Triumph Services, Inc. of Birmingham, AL with Auburn University’s Center for Disability Research and Service (CDRS) and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS). These partners explain how wrap-around services, coupled with assistive technology such as the iPad, can assist young adults with ASD achieve greater independence in employment and all areas of life!

Thursday, October 18th: Live Chat with Heather Davis of TIAA-CREF and Fruits of Employment

Heather Davis is a mother of a child with autism and senior managing director and Head of Global Private Markets for the TIAA-CREF organization.  Ms. Davis is responsible for overseeing the organization’s private fixed-income and private equity investments including direct private equity investments in natural resources, energy and infrastructure. She has 26 years of investment industry experience and, most recently, was Head of Global Private Markets Portfolio Management where she oversaw the $40 billion global private markets portfolio which included private placements, distressed investments, commercial mortgages, natural resources and infrastructure investments. At TIAA-CREF, Heather spearheaded their “Fruits of Employment” project that focuses on the creation of systems on their agricultural properties to successfully recruit, hire, train and retain employees with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities!
 

Tuesday, October 16th: "Business Perspective: Asbury Automotive Group"

The NDEAM theme for this week is "The Business Perspective."  This blog is a wonderful employment story from our friends at Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., which operates 77 car dealerships across the southeast and is the 5th largest publicly-traded automotive retailer in the country. Melissa Corey, Public Relations & Communications Manager for Asbury, details the formation of their new café concept, Café Blends: Blending Autism Into the Workplace®, and speaks from the business perspective on the benefits of hiring individuals with autism.

Thursday, October 11th: Live Chat with Susie Rutkowski of Project SEARCH

Susie is the Co-Director and Educational Specialist for Project SEARCH. She is a nationally recognized transition expert with specific experience in program development in career technical education and job development for young adults with disabilities.

Tuesday, October 9th: "NIH Project SEARCH: Strengthening Our Workplace & Community"

The theme for this week is “Collaborative Public & Private Partnerships for Employment.” This blog details the successful partnership of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Washington, D.C. with two local service providers, SEEC and The Ivymount School & Programs. These partners explain how the Project SEARCH model at their site provides a wide range of work experiences for adults with autism and other disabilities.

Thursday, October 4th: Live Chat with James Emmett

James is a national disability employment consultant who has worked with companies including Walgreens, Best Buy, Office Max, TIAA-CREF, UPS, and others. He also co-facilitated the Autism Speaks Employment Think Tank.

Tuesday, Oct. 2: "Self-Advocates Weigh in on Autism Speaks Employment Think Tank"

Think Tank participants Kerry Magro and John Taylor reflect on their experiences at the Employment Think Tank in this blog.

Check it out: 15 Companies Hiring This Month 

Click here to visit our Autism in the Workplace page!