More Persons On Autism Spectrum Now Being Hired By Companies

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald January 04, 02:54 pm
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Big companies that are implementing new pilot programs are making a difference for persons with autism spectrum.
(Photo : Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Big companies that are implementing new pilot programs are making a difference for persons with autism spectrum. Through this program, American companies are beginning to discover the benefits of having employees that are neurodiverse or those with varying cognitive abilities.

Drexel University conducted a study that shows while young adults with autism spectrum are highly skilled, up to 58 percent of them have remained unemployed. Among the companies that are starting to build a more talented, diverse and productive workforce are Microsoft and Ernst & Young, which have hired four such employees providing accounting support.

"This program leverages the skills that people with high functioning autism often have: looking at data, dealing with mathematical concepts, attention to detail, the ability to focus over long periods of time, and looking at large bodies of information and spotting anomalies," said Lori Golden, Abilities Strategy Leader at Ernst & Young.

Ernst & Young made its recruitment and training process more suitable for persons with autism spectrum, according to The Atlantic. The company managers soon found out that having neurodiverse employees made them more conscious of the effectiveness of the company's management and communication strategies.

Several businesses, according to Autism Speaks, are leading the way in the hiring of individuals with autism spectrum. Web Team Corporation and Rangam Consultants, Inc. have been credited for the creation of TheSpectrumCareers.com job search website that aims to provide a solution to the high unemployment rate among those with autism.

Technology giant Microsoft has started to hire persons in the autism spectrum on a full-time basis, thanks to Mary Ellen Smith, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Worldwide Operations. Smith's 19-year old son has autism.

One of those who has successfully been integrated into the workforce, as per Microsoft, is Kyle Schwaneke, a developer with Asperger's Syndrome who was unemployed for more than a year before he was hired under Microsoft's new program for new employees in the autism spectrum. The company has so far hired 11 employees with autism and eyes to expand the number for those who will qualify for job opportunities in data science, software engineering and even customer service.

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