Importance for autism-friendly workplaces


The idea is to improve employers’ ability to include and value people on the autism spectrum in the workplace.

In Europe, the frequency of autism is estimated to be between 1 and 160 people. This is one in every 2000. Some researchers suggest that the commonness of autism among Europeans could be much higher, particularly because of undiagnosed cases and limited services in different countries and regions.

In the European Union, only 30% of adults on the autism spectrum are in full-time or part-time employment, and only 7.6% of autistic people in employment work over 30 hours per week.

This calls for attention to provide more support and resources for people on the autism spectrum to achieve meaningful employment.

Despite EU efforts to promote employment opportunities for persons with autism, most employed persons continue to work less than 30 hours a week. This reflects the systemic barriers autistic people face when trying to secure and maintain employment.

People with autism can have an extraordinary range of talents that can be an invaluable asset to any business. Although autism affects people to varying degrees, it’s not uncommon for individuals to possess skills that can be used in many different roles, from analytical to creative.

Unfortunately, people with autism are often overlooked as potential candidates due to difficulties with social interaction and a general lack of understanding of the condition.

It’s common for people with autism to have strong personal traits and characteristics:

  • An excellent memory and knowledge of facts
  • A strong attention to detail
  • High concentration
  • Being dependable and reliable
  • A strong attention to detail
  • Technical skills, especially coding and programming

Through a better understanding of autism, organizations can attract exceptional talent while promoting a more diverse, inclusive workplace with a wide range of benefits.

Companies have much to gain from understanding that making their workplaces autism-friendly isn’t just about getting the requirements met. It should be about finding talented people who can do the job and add value to the business in more ways than work experience.

Differences in the quality of education and support services across Europe may alter the prospects for proper diagnosis and treatment, but progress has been made, particularly when it comes to helping autistic families. However, there are still differences in the quality and level of support available.

Inclusion is about culture, and building that culture starts at the top. It takes true leadership to do this, to break down barriers for people with autism in the workplace by challenging our own fears, perceptions, understanding, and obstacles.

If you are a business owner or manager, then you have the opportunity to make a difference, to open the door, and to help make autistic people valued in your workplace.

It starts with you. Make the workplace autism friendly. If it’s valuable for you, it’s valuable for your employees.

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