The Spectrum Careers: An Inside Look
By Dave Kearon | August 22, 2018
Autism Speaks is proud to champion this innovative employment tool called TheSpectrumCareers.com in partnership with Rangam Consultants Inc. In the post below, Autism Speaks Director of Adult Services Dave Kearon talks about why this exciting new tool was developed and how it will open the doors to opportunities not just to individuals with autism, but to the businesses and organizations that employ them.
As we know so well at Autism Speaks, many people with autism are fully capable of employment – and can excel in any field they choose. Employment is such a critical component for most adults to build full and productive lives. Adults with autism deserve the opportunity to contribute as productive workers in meaningful employment settings – with the appropriate supports and accommodations – and actively improve their quality of life.
But while approximately 50,000 young adults with autism reach working age every year in the United States, only a fraction of those individuals are gainfully employed in jobs that match their capabilities. Job seekers with autism – and the business community – just need a little bit of help getting connected.
That is why we have created TheSpectrumCareers.com.
Our relationship with Rangam Consulting Inc. has been extraordinary. It began at the 2014 Autism Investment Conference in San Francisco, where Nish Parikh, an executive at Rangam, was in the audience. Nish saw the same gaps and missed opportunities in the autism workforce as we did; the disconnection between businesses and this untapped, often very talented labor pool. We sat down with Nish to come up with some possible solutions to this problem - and the concept of TheSpectrumCareers was born.
Since that time, Nish, Vimal Verma and their colleagues have very generously devoted their own resources to the creation of TheSpectrumCareers. One of the lead designers in the development of this new web tool from WebTeam Corporation is a young Junior User Interface (UI) Designer named Gerald (pictured below). Throughout the year-long process of meetings and conference calls, designs and re-designs, tests and demonstrations, Gerald has shown himself to be the consummate professional. His work on the new website has been nothing short of exceptional, and he has spent many hours personally invested in its success. Gerald also happens to be a man with autism, and he has taken the lead in showing us all how TheSpectrumCareers can help so many others who have not been given the same opportunity.
Our top and most immediate priority is populating the site with as many job opportunities as possible. Autism Speaks and Rangam Consultants are proud to post all of our own open positions to TheSpectrumCareers.com. All employers are welcome to join Autism Speaks and our partners in order to give people with autism wider access to the best employment opportunities – at no cost to any user.
It is important to note that this is not about what businesses can do for people with autism; this is about what people with autism can do for business.
We encourage other companies and organizations to post their job openings on TheSpectrumCareers.com in order to expand opportunities for individuals with autism and create a more inclusive workforce to meet their business goals. This is a win-win proposition for employers and for people with disabilities including ASDs, who have valuable skills to bring to the workplace.