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  • Writer's pictureJess Talbott

World Autism Acceptance Week: ASD and Applying for Jobs

Updated: 6 hours ago

It's #WorldAutismAcceptanceWeek. Employers: Time to pause and reflect- are you doing what you can to create an inclusive workplace?





It is so important to clarify that autism is a spectrum, with each individual experiencing it in their own way. As the saying goes, "If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism." Every person with autism brings their own strengths and challenges to the table.


So are you creating a workplace where everyone can thrive?


Keep reading to learn a bit more about autism and 3 ways you can become more neurodiverse-friendly from adapting recruitment processes to reasonable adjustments 👇


(there are more of course, this is a huge topic and not one we can cover in a single blog post!)


What is Autism?


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by differences in social communication and interaction, as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behaviour.


It's a spectrum, meaning individuals may experience varying strengths and challenges. Understanding and acceptance are key to creating inclusive environments






How does Autism affect applying for jobs?


It's crucial to understand that autism is a spectrum, meaning individuals experience it uniquely.


As the popular saying within the ASD support community goes, "If you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person."


Each person with autism has their own set of strengths and challenges.


Individuals with autism may encounter difficulties in traditional job application processes due to challenges with social communication, navigating interviews, and understanding non-verbal cues.


Sensory sensitivities or the need for specific accommodations may also impact the application process. So what can employers do to be neurodiverse-friendly in their recruitment process? (3 things we would ALL benefit from)





First on the list: Communicate Clearly.


Offer detailed instructions and expectations throughout the recruitment process to help all candidates understand the steps involved.


If someone discloses they have ASD (or any other neurodevelopmental or mental health difficulties), ask them how it affects them and what support they would find helpful rather than assuming you know.


Secondly, be flexible.


Allow for alternative interview formats, such as written responses or virtual interviews, to accommodate diverse communication styles.





Third: Offer Accommodations.


Be open to providing reasonable accommodations, such as extended time for tasks or breaks during interviews, to ensure all candidates can showcase their abilities effectively.


Reasonable Adjustments


Employers must legally provide reasonable adjustments to ensure workers with disabilities or health conditions aren't significantly disadvantaged in their roles.


This can include modifying the recruitment process to ensure fair consideration for all candidates.


Recap


  • Autism is a spectrum, meaning individuals experience different strengths and challenges. Don't assume you know, ask!

  • Employers can do things to be more neurodiverse-friendly including in their recruitment process. But these are things we all would benefit from being commonplace.

1. Clear communication

2. Flexibility is key

3. Reasonable adjustments


Thank you for joining us during World Autism Acceptance Week!


We've explored what autism is, its potential impact on job applications, and 3 pointers for employers on creating neurodiverse-friendly workplaces.


Let's create workplaces that embrace neurodiversity and support the talents and contributions of all individuals.



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