On Monday 5th October 2015, Autism Network Scotland’s Autism & Employment Network hosted its third annual event at the University of Strathclyde. The event saw the launch of the brand new Autism & Employment Network website, with the site being introduced by Richard Ibbotson of Autism Initiatives and ANS advisor Annie Watson. The web resource provides information for employers on supporting and hiring employees with autism. The website showcases the resources and services in Scotland that aim to improve the employment experiences of autistic people. The section for employers includes information about making reasonable adjustments for employees on the autism spectrum. There is information about and for supported employment agencies. These agencies can help people with autism find jobs and develop skills for the workplace. The web resource also has a section for autistic people about where to find support and information related to employment.
The event looked at the employment process, through finding and getting a job, starting in a new job, and support once in work from the perspectives of people on the autism spectrum, services that support them, and employers. Attendees also heard about the recent work of Autism Network Scotland’s Employment Network, and watched the videos they have filmed
David Breslin, a public speaker with Asperger’s Syndrome, offered his own personal perspective on finding work. You can find out more about David’s work on his website.
ANS advisor Lynsey Stewart presented on transitions and the workplace, which included discussion of the findings of the recent Exploring Transitions: Digging Deeper events across Scotland. You can read the final report on this series of events here.
Other presentations on the day included an HR perspective on the recruitment of people on the autism spectrum; experiences of autistic people with job advertising, applications, interviews and selection processes; and a presentation on a service provider and service user’s experiences of starting a new job.
Afternoon workshops were based around discussing different case studies, and what advice should be given to an autistic person, an employer/HR worker and a person/service providing support to individuals at different stages of the employment process. The workshops were facilitated by members of the Autism Network Scotland Employment Network.