Working Group Update: Employment and Bullying
October 18, 2012
By Mary Beth Collins and Rose Jochum
In July 2012, the Autism Society assembled educators, professionals, chapter leaders, self advocates and others of different backgrounds and experiences to address some of the most pressing issues facing those with autism. Working groups met at the Autism Society National Conference to focus on the topics of bullying, quality of life, employment, equal access to screening and early intervention; community collaboration and college programs for students with autism. We will keep you updated on how these groups progress in each issue of our e-newsletter.
This week, updates from the groups addressing employment and bullying:
Autism Society Employment Working Group Update
During the past month, the Employment Working Group has been finalizing its participant list for the 2012-13 year and assembling its meeting structure through both a Yahoo Group and conference calls. The group will not only be meeting to collaborate on a project related to employment for adults with autism, but hopes to bring together information, articles and research findings from across the country and begin a regular dialogue on this important issue. Look to future newsletters for noteworthy events and opportunities for upcoming webinars or radio presentations. If you wish to share something and are not a part of the group, please email Mary Beth Collins.
Last week, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM) hosted its second annual Autism Employment Forum, featuring a Leadership Summit Discussion and other sessions open to the public. The keynote ensemble was a wonderful statement of partnership collaborations where future employment successes for adults with autism can be nurtured: Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, leaders from DEED/VRS, Department of Education, Adelphi University Author and Professor Dr. Stephen Shore, and Walgreens Senior Vice President for Supply Chain and Logistics Randy Lewis. AUSM provided some wonderful resource booklets at the forum: Unlocked Potential: An Employment Guide for People with Autism and Overlooked Talent: Investing in Employees with Autism. On its website, AUSM also makes available autism awareness workshops and additional resources for human resource teams and hiring managers. Click here to learn more about the forum and additional employment resources created by AUSM.
Some additional interesting articles regarding employment and adults with autism:
Exceptional Minds Students Earn Adobe Accreditation, Shatter Autism Glass Ceiling on Way to Careers in Computer Animation and Post-Production
October 12, 2012
“Five aspiring Exceptional Minds animators and visual artists shattered yet another glass ceiling for individuals with autism by earning their Flash Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certificate today, the first organized group of vocational students on the autism spectrum to do so.” Read more…
A Modest Proposal for Autistic Employment: A Plan to Ease Some People off of Disability and into the Workforce
October 12, 2012
By John Elder Robison in Psychology Today
“One of the toughest issues for adults with autism is chronic unemployment. A fortunate few of us are able to work independently without supports or subsidies, but a terribly high percentage remain unemployed or underemployed, year after year.”
Young Adults with Autism Seek Out White-Collar Careers for First Time
September 27, 2012
The article includes the following statistics:
- Job prospects for adults with autism in the U.S. are crushingly bleak. Nationwide, their combined unemployment and underemployment rate is around 90 percent.
- According to a 2011 study, only 56 percent of young adults with autism in the U.S. graduated from high school, and only 14 percent started college. How many graduated from college is unknown, but experts say it's likely to be fewer than half of those who started.
- More than 70 percent of people with autism have average or above average intelligence
Bullying Working Group Update
Wear Orange in October!
Remember that October is Bullying Awareness Month. PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center is holding National Bullying Prevention Month to unite communities nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention through events, activities and education.
Bullying Awareness Month was created in 2006 as a week-long event that has now grown into a month-long effort to prevent bullying. Many celebrities support the cause, including Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper. You may have noticed them wearing orange on Unity Day, October 10. On Unity Day I personally was thrilled to see, among the sea of red as the Washington Nationals played their first home playoff game in decades, an orange shirt that read, “Real Dad's wear Orange.” For more on PACER and National Bullying Prevention Month, see: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/about/
As the need to combat bullying is so enormous, many groups are addressing the issue including another group also founded at the Autism Society's National Conference, the Network of Autism Training and Technical Assistance Programs (NATTAP). Click here to read the group’s white paper on bullying for some ideas for addressing bullying in schools.
Last, the Autism Society will collaborate with other organizations on a new initiative by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to address the sexual exploitation of children with autism. We will keep you informed as this takes shape.
April 10, 2013
The Autism Society, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization, has chosen Pittsburgh as the host city of its 44th annual conference on autism spectrum disorders.
April 5, 2013
Individuals with autism can attend the Autism Society National Conference and Exposition (in Pittsburgh) for FREE this year! Learn more: www.autism-society.org/conference.
April 3, 2013
Monarch Teaching Technologies, the makers of VizZle®, web-based educational software for visual learners with autism, will give one-year of free VizZle to every new (or renewing) Champion Member during April.
April 2, 2013
Read the Autism Society’s digital magazine about autism spectrum disorders!
April 2, 2013
Today, throughout the world, individuals will come together highlighting the needs and dreams of people living with autism.