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.Add to or read responses
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 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.
— BBC Two (@BBCTwo) April 2, 2016
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.
Add to or read responses
Account Manager: We’re looking for an experienced PR professional who is passionate about developing their career in a fast-growing agency. The successful candidate will have a proven ability to manage multiple client relationships, a strong news sense and good media relations experience and will be able to assist with the company strategy for new business.
Badby Park is a specialist nursing and rehabilitation facility with comprehensive services dedicated to neurological illnesses and disorders.
Arc Seven supports Badby Park with all elements of its PR function.
The CAP (Continuous Advancement Programme) Awards recognise excellence in catering and housekeeping and are regarded as the highest measure of quality, safe best practices and service in the healthcare and private education sectors.
Arc Seven leads all aspects of the awards PR, from liaising with winners to position CAP as thought leaders in catering and housekeeping.
Arc Seven was hired to deliver a values-led PR campaign for adult social care provider Swanton Care & Community to position the company as a true innovator in the sector.
Precious Homes is an adult social care business that provides care and support to people with learning difficulties who may present with behaviour described as challenging.
Arc Seven was brought in to help the company tell the stories of its success and to create a continued news presence to deepen engagement with existing stakeholders and reach out to new ones.
Launch a new luxury boutique care group with homes across the South of England, from planning permission to opening and into ongoing reputation management and community stakeholder engagement.
Establish each individual home as the premier care provider within the region, to drive occupancy rates from day one.
Significantly raise the profile of Alzheimer’s research charity BRACE to drive fundraising for scientific research.
Lead the strategic communications review of International NGO Doctors of the World UK following the appointment of a new Executive Director.
The £12 million Well London project aims to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of people living in some of London’s most deprived neighbourhoods.
Funded by the Big Lottery, and backed by the Mayor of London, Arc Seven was hired to handle the strategic communications review for the initiative.
© ARC Seven 2017