Employment Position Statement
The Autism Society, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for individuals with autism and their families, affirms that individuals with autism and other disabilities should have access to the resources and supports needed to gain and maintain meaningful employment. People with autism and other disabilities are the most unemployed and underemployed segments of our society. The Autism Society believes employment should be an expected life activity for individuals with autism. People with autism have the right to a range of employment and vocational support services including competitive and integrated employment opportunities, individualized employment when needed, and volunteering. The engagement of employers is critical to ensuring the recruitment, hiring and retention of individuals with autism and other disabilities.
The Autism Society supports the following employment principles for individuals with autism and their families:
• Individuals with autism and other disabilities should be encouraged to make informed choices about their work.
• Individuals with autism should have access to the resources necessary to be successfully employed.
• Individuals with autism should be paid at least the minimum wage in their state, rather than any subminimum wage.
• Individuals with autism should have access to customized employment based on their individual needs.
• Individuals with autism should have the opportunity for career advancement, with access to higher pay and greater responsibilities that meet their personal abilities.
• Employment should be an expected outcome of the educational process for students with autism in both high school and college settings. • Educational settings should provide information, supports and experiences to all students on the importance of the working world.
• Proactive programs should encourage businesses to improve hiring practices and reward retention of employees with autism.
• Individuals with autism who lose public benefits due to employment income exceeding thresholds should receive immediate and full reinstatement of any federal, state, and/or local income and insurance benefits that have been lost.
Adopted by the Autism Society Board of Directors, 7/12/2017