Autism Acceptance Month #CelebrateDifferences
By Jan Norwood
April is National Autism Acceptance Month. Autism is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. The cause is sometimes linked to a genetic condition; however, the cause is usually not known. (What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?, 2022) The frequency of Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has increased from one in 150 in 2000 to one in 44 in 2018 according to findings by the Center for Disease Control. (Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder, 2022).
Autism is found in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. It is four times more likely to be seen in boys than girls. (What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?, 2022) Autism does not present in the same way in every person. For example, one person with ASD could be nonverbal while another could communicate extremely well. In most instances, there is nothing to set a person with ASD apart from anyone else. Autism is a spectrum disorder. Each person with ASD has a unique set of strengths and challenges. (What is Autism?, 2022)
Having ASD can make finding a job difficult, but some companies have embraced people who are autistic with satisfactory results. Dell Technologies has successfully implemented their Autism Hiring Program for several years. (Palumbo, 2020) Dell’s program allows people with ASD to display their skills in action instead of the traditional interview. Other Autism friendly companies include Microsoft, Freddie Mac, Ernst and Young, Walgreens, and Home Depot to name a few. (Rudy, 2020)
If your company is interested in hiring someone with ASD, Autism Speaks and their partners invite you to join Workplace Inclusion Now (WIN). The goal of WIN is to help promote inclusive workplaces for autistic workers. According to Autism Speaks, WIN helps job seekers and employees with autism connect with businesses to create an increased diverse and inclusive workforce. (Workplace Inclusion Now, 2022)
If you are looking to build a disabled inclusive environment by partnering with disabled owned businesses or employing a disabled workforce explore Disability:IN, a 501c(3) established to empower organizations and corporations to achieve disability inclusion and equality.
Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder. (2022, April 9).
Palumbo, J. (2020, December 17). How One Company is Redefining Hiring and Working with People with Autism.
Rudy, L. J. (2020, April 15). Top 10 Autism Friendly Employers.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder? (2022, April 9).
What is Autism? (2022, April 3).
Workplace Inclusion Now. (2022, April 9).