On Monday 27th September 2016, Autism Network Scotland’s Autism & Employment Network hosted its fourth annual event at the University of Strathclyde.

The event looked at  perspectives on the challenges of maintaining employment, issues around disclosure of autism in the workplace, what support is available in work, and particular issues facing autistic women in employment 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 fliers they have created.

Richard Ibbotson introduced the day and gave rian update on the past years developments within the Employment Network. This included an overview of the survey of employment experiences of people with autism which was undertaken during the summer. He also considered examples of employment and autism research from the Autism Europe Congress held in Edinburgh in September.

Other presentations on the day included Kay Roberston from Scottish Widows, who offered an employer perspective on the strengths brought by people on the autism spectrum to the workplace. Sean Kennedy, offered his own personal perspective on finding work. Jane from SWAN shared the perspectives of a range of autistic women’s experiences of work.

employDavid Bain of IntoWork  presented on available support in work. Andrew Horseman of the Number 6 One Stop Shop shared the thoughts and experiences of a number of their service users in Edinburgh relating to informing an employer about an autistic spectrum condition.

Afternoon workshops focused on three different case studies. Groups considered what types of advice and support advice should be given to an autistic person and an employer/HR worker at different stages of the employment process. The role of a person and or service providing support to individuals was also discussed.  All workshops were facilitated by members of the Autism Network Scotland Employment Network.

Presentations:

Autism Network Scotland Employment Network Update – Richard Ibbotson – Richmond Fellowship

Disclosure of Autism at Work – Andy Horseman – Number 6 One Stop Shop

Available support in work – David Bain -IntoWork