We agree with the UN Secretary General on employing those with autism

autism day from united nationsLast Wednesday The United Nations secretary General Ban Ki-Moon wrote about hiring people with autism, saying he’d been inspired by meetings with individuals with autism and their level of accomplishment:

They are an example to us all.
People with autism have enormous potential. Most have remarkable visual, artistic or academic skills.
Research suggests that people on the autism spectrum have certain abilities in greater abundance than “neurotypical” workers do, such as heightened pattern recognition and logical reasoning, as well as a greater attention to detail.
These qualities make them particularly successful at certain kinds of employment, such as software testing, data entry, lab work and proofreading, to name but a few.

In my post last week about World Autism Awareness Day, I pointed out that more than 80% of adults with autism around the world are unemployed, and I listed a number of hurdles that keep that number so high:

  • a shortage of vocational training
  • inadequate support with job placement
  • pervasive discrimination.

With all that in mind, I was delighted to read that UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was launching an employment call to action inviting businesses to make concrete commitments to employ people on the autism spectrum. He wrote that he hopes that “through this initiative, companies will take a closer look at the way they perceive people with autism, take the time to learn about the condition and create life-changing opportunities for this largely untapped pool of talent and skills.” He also pointed out that businesses that respond to his call to action will:

  • demonstrate leadership
  • improve the quality of their products
  • improve the quality of their services
  • achieve a stronger understanding of their customer base by having a workforce that better reflects the general population
  • be able to offer an attractive work environment to potential and current recruits (since a workplace where people with autism thrive is often a great place for all employees.)

Here at Easter Seals, we couldn’t agree with him more. Check out Easter Seals national employment training and job placement assistance resources here.


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