This is a post by Tammy Yee, Vice President of US Healthcare, Wellness and Work Life Strategy at American Express. The company is committed to spreading autism awareness and helping to support their employees who are affected by the disorder.
At American Express, we pride ourselves on creating an environment where employees know we value their commitment to the company. To achieve that, we take a holistic approach to our employees work and personal lives by offering a variety of resources to help support overall well-being. American Express looks to employee feedback as a way to gain insight on the needs of employees and their families. Our Parents at Amex employee network played a key role in driving the need for special needs support for families, including those affected by autism. As a result, American Express began what is now a long standing partnership with Autism Speaks as a way to raise awareness and help employees who are facing the challenges of raising an autistic child. In addition, employees have a wide range of expert resources available at no cost, which include financial planning, care consultants, health advocacy and access to a Special Needs support group. Also, based on employee feedback, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy is now covered under the American Express medical plan.
Locations across the company kicked off Autism Awareness month by “Lighting it Up Blue” for World Autism Day. Throughout April, employees participated in virtual and in-person nationwide events focused on raising autism awareness. One of the live events was a conversation with Autism Speaks board member and nationally renowned attorney Gary Mayerson. Hosted at the American Express headquarters in New York, Mayerson discussed the process of securing effective, appropriate programming for children with autism and knowing your rights as a parent. Such programs are an integral part of the support American Express strives to provide for the growing number of families affected by autism. As one employee put it, “Without the support of American Express on autism awareness, it may have taken much longer in getting my son diagnosed.” It’s that type of feedback that drives American Express to provide best in class benefits to its employees.