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Inclusion is Good for Business

During Autism Awareness Month, Project Discovery is all about moving beyond awareness to empowerment. We have the tools to develop job ready and life ready skills for all students, and we tip our hats to employers, like Microsoft, SAP, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), that are taking aggressive steps to hire individuals with Autism. Below we highlight four ways these trailblazing employers have reinvented inclusion in the corporate environment.

1. Accessible Interviews: Microsoft designed a brand new interview process to evaluate neurodiverse applicants. The two-week “Interview Academy” gives applicants ample time to demonstrate their unique skills to hiring managers.

2. Immersive On – Boarding: An extended orientation process for new-hires with disabilities and their direct supervisors fosters supportive relationships and open communication. In these sessions, supervisors and new hires can discuss standards, like dress code and deadlines, and dig into trickier topics, like how to talk about ASD among colleagues.

3. On – Going Support: Structured mentorship within the company and assistance with accessing support resources from government and non-profits helps neurodiverse recruits build lives around their new jobs. Some companies, like SAP, also provide extra support and training for the neurotypical colleagues of new hires.

4. Attitude: Though the companies hiring individuals with Autism offer a broad range of services, they all have one thing in common: positive attitudes around Autism. Inclusive companies view their employees’ ASD as a competitive advantage to be honored, not as a problem to be solved.

The Project Discovery “Adapted Career Development” modules are specially designed to empower individuals with Autism to succeed beyond the classroom. We celebrate Microsoft, SAP, EY and other corporations for opening their doors to individuals with Autism!