Arc Seven Blog Archive - April 2016

Autism employment successes should be shared Posted by: Alistair Clay | 06.04.16

Autism has been in the headlines for all the right reasons in recent weeks and months with news that several major companies have begun to encourage people with autism to apply for jobs in their organisations.

Microsoft was probably the most high-profile firm to announce the move and was rightly applauded for being part of a growing global movement to end the stigma surrounding autism and the world of work.


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Who is telling the autism story well? Posted by: Gemma Keogh | 05.04.16


Some innovative businesses and brands are leading the way and are proactively engaging with the autistic community. Here are a few that have impressed over the past year by advocating for the autistic workforce, raising awareness about autism and creatively telling the autism story.

Sesame Street

Sesame Street introduced Julia, a new character who has autism, in October last year. She is part of an ongoing campaign to remove the stigma that surrounds the condition and features in digital content and story books. It’s hoped that Julia will inspire other creators to include characters with autism in their work.


Sam the autistic barista, who has also been diagnosed with a movement disorder, became a global sensation after he was filmed serving coffee. Sam’s managers supported him to turn his movements into a dance so that he can work behind the bar, and his cool coffee moves found fans across the world.

The coffee chain had partnered up with a summer camp for young people with autism and Starbucks team members helped develop job and interview skills and provided training in customer service. Sam had attended the camp and made such a good impression that he was offered a job.

The rest of the story belongs to YouTube, Twitter and then media around the world that shared Sam’s story.









The documentary, Employable Me, which charts the path of autistic adults on their search for work, has shone a spotlight on the issue of autistic unemployment and successfully managed to connect the autism community with mainstream audiences.

Take a look at #EmployableMe on Twitter. The positive response is overwhelming and the stories shared are truly inspiring. In case you missed it here’s Brett’s wonderful speech again.


Grenache Restaurant

It’s not just global brands that have made positive headlines for autism. Mike Jennings, who runs the Grenache restaurant in Worsley, near Manchester, stood up for his waiter, Andy Foster, who is autistic when a table of customers refused to be served by him. Mike took to Facebook to share his disappointment in the customers and to support his member of staff. Regional and national papers picked up the story and social media also lit up with support.


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