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Friday, May 1, 2020


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

Jamie Wax and David McAlpine at CBS:
Of auticon's 300 employees, more than 200 are on the autism spectrum — a rare ratio for a company in the United States. Experts say the unemployment and underemployment rate for autistic people in the United States falls anywhere between 50% and 90%.

Now [Will] Collett is a QA analyst at auticon, working on finding bugs in software and on websites for clients around the world. Like many Americans, he's now working from home, which Collett says plays to his strengths as someone on the autism spectrum.

"A lot of us are a lot more introverted," said Collett. "There's always a certain point when I'm like, OK, I'm done hanging out with people. I'm going to go sit over here on my phone. I'm still having a great time, but I'm just kind of like done associating with people. And what I feel is really helpful for work from home, is that we can do just that," Collett continued. "We can do our work. We can focus on our work. And then when we need to talk to somebody — OK, let's open up a Zoom call. Let's open up a mic chat."

Auticon's employees are thriving in a remote work environment, said David Aspinall, U.S. CEO of the company.

"I think it's opening eyes to the possibilities of neurodiversity within the workplace. I think that we have a clear opportunity here," Aspinall said. "It's kind of a real-time experiment in unprecedented circumstances."