Ecosystem Approach to Employment and Autism

Working age individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have the lowest employment rate in Canada at 14.3% in comparison to the general population (92.7%) and other disability groups (45.2%). This significant under-engagement in the labour force demonstrates the need to consider new and innovative approaches to employment to support long-term improved outcomes and overall quality of life.

An ecosystem is described as a network of interconnected parts, and when applied to employment for individuals with autism it considers all the critical intersecting elements: the individual with autism, their family, support agencies, the workplace, the broader community, and supportive public policy – all elements that need to work together to influence, impact and improve employment success.

To read more about the intersecting elements of the employment ecosystem, and how it is applied in the EmploymentWorks Canada program, click on the RESEARCH SNIPPET link below.

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Research Snippet - Ecosystem Approach to Employment and ASD - 03.13.2018 (For Publication)

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Worktopia & Ready, Willing and Able: A National Collaboration Building Bridges to Supports on the Pathway to Employment

Worktopia and Ready, Willing and Able are working together to meaningfully influence the employment futures of youth and young adults with autism. To read more about how the programs are helping job seekers develop their employment skills, gain a better understanding of the employment services and supports in their local community, and make connections to inclusive workplaces that are looking to hire, click on the news story attached featuring a recent graduate of the EmploymentWorks Canada program.

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Supporting the Employment Journey

“If you have a (young person) who does not open up and does not talk about those things then … having (a written report with) strengths, weaknesses, what to work on, resources, all that is very important.” (Parent of Worktopia Participant)

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Relating What We Are Learning to Research

Using national population survey data, researchers from The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary explored the education, daily needs and labour force participation of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They looked at data from the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability that surveyed 45,500 Canadians with disabilities and found valuable information about the challenges people with disabilities encounter getting into and remaining in the workforce. Their research is also providing insights that inform policy development.

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