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.

As a company based on innovative, boundary-breaking thinking they could see the value in employing individuals with exceptional abilities to process information in unique ways.

What makes this an especially exciting move is the way in which Microsoft so publically shared the information about their new HR policy.

In many ways communications has an absolutely key role to play in the campaign to create a more just and fair society for those living with autism and learning disabilities.

While of course there is much merit in an organisation doing good work in this field, if they do not shout it from the rooftops then there is less of a chance that other similar organisations will follow suit.

These pioneering firms must ensure that their comms strategy is as radical as their approach to employing people with autism.

The more these boundary breaking stories are shared then the more the stigma that faces people looking for work is eroded.

Comms has a vital role to play here for businesses, but also for social care providers working to support service users into the world of work.

Leading age providers are doing plenty to encourage the people they support to work with local businesses, perhaps first in a volunteer capacity, and we must ensure that the wider public hears about these successes.

Communications is an essential tool in the fight for greater access to the world of work for people living with autism. Let’s share those stories.