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Friday, June 10, 2016

Autism Employers

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the employment of adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Many posts have discussed companies and nonprofits that provide them with training and experience

Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz reports at The Chicago Tribune:
Ford this month kicked off a pilot program funded by the Autism Alliance of Michigan to give individuals with autism on-the-job training in product development, with the chance to be considered for a job.

Deerfield-based Walgreens, which became a leader on the issue thanks to a senior vice president with an autistic son, counts about 12 percent of its distribution center employees as having a self-disclosed disability, many on the autism spectrum.

Microsoft last year launched a small pilot program to hire at least 10 people with autism for full-time positions such as software engineer and data analyst. German software company SAP has made it a goal to have 1 percent of its workforce composed of people on the autism spectrum.

Northwestern University recently hired its first employee from Project SEARCH, a program that puts young adults with autism through three 10-week internships at the university. The employee will be performing clerical and support roles in its office of alumni relations and development.

Other organizations make autism central to their business model.

AutonomyWorks in Downers Grove employs 20 associates, all of whom have autism, to perform back-office digital advertising tasks for corporate clients, said David Friedman, founder and CEO.