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Autistic Spectrum Conditions in the workplace: the next step

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‘People with autism can have exceptional talents and by making some straightforward adjustments can prove to be a tremendous asset to business. We need to do more to make use of those talents.’ Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform.

 

Why are we doing it?

The DMA are seeking to raise awareness of the types of opportunity that exist in industry for people with ASC (Autistic Spectrum Conditions) as well as encourage employers to be more open towards neurodiversity in the workplace.

As specialist data and analytics skills become more in demand in industry, evidently the call for individuals with these skills increases. For many people on the spectrum, their unique combination of numeracy skills, attention to detail and logical reasoning ability make them ideal candidates for a variety of industry, data-related roles.

We recognise that ASC individuals may be at a disadvantage for gaining employment compared with non-neuro diverse people. The National Autistic Society revealed that out of around 700,000 people on the spectrum in the UK only 16% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment.

Our aim is to educate employers on how making straightforward adjustments in processes will enable them to tap into this underutilised and talented pool of people, as well as encouraging ASC individuals to apply for positions.

On top of this, we strongly believe that as an industry we need to be doing more to make these individuals feel welcomed, so our work aims to open the discussion towards addressing this issue.

What will we be doing?

We’ll be running a pilot training session in Bristol in February with a member of staff from BASS (Bristol Autistic Spectrum Services) to inform a handful of businesses about autistic spectrum conditions in the workplace. As a result we hope the discussion from this will open a dialogue in industry that addresses concerns surrounding the employment of ASC individuals.

If you are based in the West region and are interested in involvement in this pilot training scheme on Wednesday 7th February, please get in touch with Andrew Buffrey

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