Self-Disclosure Can be an Asset
This is a difficult decision for many individuals and families. Many people believe that if they disclose they have autism, then they will not get the job. While this can happen (but the company would never share that), the question to ask yourself is, “If I disclosed and did not get the job because of my disability, do I really want to be working there?” Many companies are not prepared to hire those with disabilities, BUT many are embracing this workforce and are doing everything they can to help everyone succeed.
Not disclosing may also put you or your child in a tough situation IF they ever need reasonable accommodations. Some companies could view it as you weren’t honest. Being open and honest with the company might be the best option.
Many VR Agencies and Non-Profits are Overloaded, Underfunded and Not Business Driven
Across the United States VR agencies and job coaches are working hard to help find their clients meaningful employment. However, they’re not helping or preparing more companies for maximum success. The reality is that you and your child can be waiting a long time. More than likely, you will need to help your child better navigate their employment search, just like you supported them through their education and beyond.
The Business World is Recognizing there is a Valuable, Untapped Workforce
There are many jobs in the business world that most people are not exposed to that can provide meaningful employment. Your child does not have to be in the tech industry, you don’t need to start your own business, and your child doesn’t have to settle for a job where they are underemployed. Many have natural skill sets that make them well-suited for a myriad of opportunities where they can thrive. More and more companies are recognizing that this workforce is ready, willing, and able! Hiring someone with autism is not just good social policy, it’s good business.
“The approaches and techniques developed by the autism workforce team have the potential to positively impact a much larger and broader population of neurodiverse individuals. In this work lies the possibility of moving from thousands to millions of neurodiverse employees.”
–Dr. Rob Austin, Ivey Business School