Employers & Recruiters

Autism Employment Connector Challenge Winners Selected!

Autism Speaks announced on June 13, 2022 the winners of the Autism Employment Connector Challenge, launched in partnership with HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions.

Photo courtesy of Spectrum Designs Foundation

The Autism Speaks-sponsored Challenge invited innovators including jobseekers, employers, students, recruiters and members of the community, to identify solutions that support autistic job seekers navigating the employment search and application process while effectively communicating skills and abilities to prospective employers. 
After careful review by a team of experts consisting of autistic people, family members of people with autism, service providers, HR professionals and corporations that prioritize inclusive hiring, the three submissions that have been selected as winners include: 

  1. Zensory-Blissful Job Searching for Autistic Adults, submitted by Team Screen Queens (Beatriz Ramos, Sindhu Bhairavi Kannan and T.H.) 
     
  2. JobQuest: One goal. One passion. Inclusivity! submitted by Carlotta Granholm's team (Carlotta Granholm and Wenyan Liu)  
     
  3. Autism Employment Matching Engine (AEME), submitted by Rebecca Beam's team (Rebecca Beam and Hilary Kokenda)

Congratulations to all of the applicants and winners! Read more about the Challenge here!

 

Businesses around the world are recognizing the many strengths of adults with autism and their contributions to the workforce. Workplace Inclusion Now™ (WIN) is a collaboration of dozens of subject matter experts, business leaders, professionals with autism and members of the community. Together, we will increase employment opportunities and build workplaces where people with autism - and businesses - can thrive. 

Interested in learning more? Sign up here! 

Our Workplace Inclusion Now (WIN) program is designed to help businesses that are interested in hiring autistic workers reap the benefits of creating an inclusive workplace. We also work with job-seekers and community service providers to connect them to resources to create meaningful job opportunities for autistic workers. 

We do this through:

  • Digital trainings for workers and businesses
  • Consulting on autism-friendly employment practices
  • Online and in-person Pathways to Employment events to connect businesses, workers and service providers in local markets

Why should employers join Workplace Inclusion Now? 

WIN logo horizontal with AS logo
  • Hiring people with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental differences isn’t just about “doing the right thing.” It’s good for business. The benefits are vast and meaningful: 

    • Welcoming workplaces drive innovation and ROI, and improve corporate culture.  

    • Inclusive workplaces improve retention (up to 98% reported by some Silicon Valley companies), attendance and safety.  

    • Diverse, welcoming, inclusive workplaces positively impact the bottom line.   

  • In the U.S. alone, hundreds of thousands of people on the spectrum are ready and willing to work but don’t have jobs or aren’t working to their full potential.   

  • Nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job, and global estimates range as high as 85% un- or underemployment.    

  • These statistics are not driven by a lack of employable skills. They are driven by old paradigms and processes that don’t give people with autism the support they need to thrive in the workplace. 

By participating in WIN, companies can not only play a crucial role in building more inclusive communities; they can also see significant positive impact on their success as a business.  

Interested in learning more? Sign up here! 


Other tools and resources:

Autism @ Work Employer Playbook

The Autism @ Work Playbook is the product of a collaborative research project led by Dr. Hala Annabi, an associate professor at the University of Washington Information School. To create this guide, the ACCESS-IT Research Group at the Information School studied the Autism @ Work programs of four leading employers: Microsoft, SAP, JPMorgan Chase and EY.

Webinar: Establishing an Effective Neurodiversity Employment Program: Legal Issues

We are thrilled that there is growing interest among businesses to explore how they can set up their own autism hiring initiatives. Companies are increasingly reaching out to Autism Speaks and others with questions about how to put together an effective program. In August 2018, we were proud to collaborate with legal experts from Duane Morris, LLPSAP and Cornell University's Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability to present this webinar that addresses legal topics. 

Additional Resources