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In a welcome change, more youngsters with autism are finding employment

A new trend shows that many private companies are coming forward to hire people with autism. Experts point out that though there is still a long way to go towards creating inclusive workspaces, the much needed change is already here.

Today, there are many private companies that hire people with autism into their workforce. Since most of the special schools and NGOs provide youngsters with autism vocational training and technological skills, it enables them to earn a livelihood and become independent at a very young age. Reportedly, number of people being hired for jobs are increasing at a rapid rate since the past couple of years. More companies are becoming aware of the need to work towards inclusion. Experts point out that this is indeed a much needed, remarkable and welcome change.

When a person with autism picks up a job, it must be something that suits their tastes, strengths and preferences. Skills vary from people who have mild to extreme autism as well. One of the biggest strengths that can be tapped are their good memory skills. Though they cannot handle multiple tasks, people with autism can excel in repeating or doing the same things.

Most of them are good with computers and gadgets, and hence providing them with a platform to do something with these will be a good idea, and this is what most companies are working on. There are many basic computer programmes and courses offered for people with autism so that they can learn and earn on their own.

Anuradha Krishnamoorthy, is the founder of Krea eKnowledge Pvt Ltd. and Can DO, a CSR initiative that provides training and employment for people with disabilities. According to her, the trend of hiring people with autism has been set off. But there is a long way to go.

Currently, we have an employee and an intern with autism who are doing really well at our workspace. It is possible for them to work in offices if given the right guidance and training, mainly because they have cognitive abilities. So organisations must tap those skills. We try to focus and give them data related work. They can collect the information from online sources and do a little research as well.-Anuradha Krishnamoorthy, Founder, Krea Knowledge Pvt Ltd

It is important that jobs provided to youngsters with autism must have a well-defined goal or end point. It is equally important for the boss to understand their skills and help them work on improving it. With a little bit of training and patience from co-workers, people with autism can excel at work places.

Suman John, Founder, Diya Foundation, works towards empowering people with disabilities to get a job and become independent.

"The skills and efficiencies of people on the spectrum vary", says Suman. "Today there are companies like SAP and Accenture, to name a few, that hires people with disabilities. 2% of the SAP workforce have to be people in the autism spectrum and they are very efficient and show higher productivity than others", says John.

Anuradha says that more awareness and sensitisation is needed. "The information that you give people with autism must be crystal clear and it is great that policies are becoming more inclusive".

ALSO READ: Career choices for people with autism

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