The employment rate for adults with autism falls significantly below that of the general population, in part due to stigma and lack of knowledge on the part of employers. Professionals working in career development can help move the needle by being more informed about autism, accommodations and resources available to students and jobseekers on the autism spectrum.
These resources and organizations offer a snapshot of supports related to employment and education for people with autism in Canada. Have a resource you want to share? Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and it may be added to this article or included in a future one.
A Facebook group for adults on the autism spectrum, by Autism Canada. A place to ask questions and get advice, it is not specific to employment but could still be a helpful resources for clients navigating work or education decisions.
Austism Job Club is a network of individuals, families, volunteers and service providers that aims to help people with autism achieve their goals. It offers technical support with skills development in setting goals, creating resumes, practicing interview skills, targeting jobs, connecting with service providers and more, delivered through group training and one-on-one mentoring.
Among its various programs and resources, Autism Ontario offers webinars on a variety of topics, such as “My First Job Experience,” “Thinking of Post-Secondary Education,” “Transitioning to Employment” and “Establishing Work Opportunities,” that may be valuable to individuals with autism, their families or career professionals.
Autism Speaks helps support individuals with autism and their families. It has many resources that may be valuable to career professional and their clients, including:
- Glossary of Terms
- Employment Tool Kit
- Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities Guide
- Community-based Skills Assessment (CSA): Developing a Personalized Transition Plan
- A guide to assisstive technology
CASDA is a coalition of organizations and individuals developing a comprehensive National Autism Strategy. Career professionals or their clients who are interested in advocacy may want to connect with CASDA. Its membership directory of autism organizations across Canada offers
This service works with employers across Canada to help reduce barriers to individuals who need job accommodations by providing practical solutions and advice.
Resources for people with autism of all ages. For instance, its Pathways to Extended Learning programs, for ages 18+, help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder achieve their individualized goals in the areas of work, volunteering, education or life skills building.
Specialisterne Canada aims to enable 25,000 jobs for people on the autism spectrum and with similar conditions. It has developed hiring and management practices that enable the employment of neurodiverse individuals by removing barriers. It shares job opportunities, offers a post-secondary bridging program for neurodiverse students and more.
Transitioning to adulthood is a process requiring advanced planning and preparation. This tip sheet highlights questions and pathways to consider for students with autism at milestone decision-making ages (Grade 8, Grades 9 and 10, age 16 and 18+), as well as resources and advice at each stage.
This guide identifies common concerns and struggles for individuals on the autism spectrum, potential accommodations that may be available to students in a post-secondary environment, support organizations and resources.
Worktopia is a national employment network with a shared goal to change the odds of employment success for people with autism. It has resources for employers and families.
- Assisting adults with autism to transition from post-secondary into the workplace (Careering magazine)
- Considering Community Service: Career Development for Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ThinkWork!)
- Transitioning into Adulthood (Autism Awareness Centre Inc.)
- 86% of adults with autism are unemployed. This job fair aims to change that (CBC)
- Disability in demand: People with autism offer employers a broader talent pool (CBC)
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