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)

Summer School Work Experience

Attending school over the summer may sound like a real drag to most young teens, but a unique new summer program is providing youth with autism opportunities to develop new friendships, explore employment interests and gain valuable work experience – all while earning school credit.

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Maintaining the Momentum

“It would be wonderful to have some sort of next step. Something that happens after the program that you tailor to the individual.” In an effort to respond to this common sentiment by Worktopia participants and families, ‘Post Program Supports’ are now being offered following program completion to help maintain momentum and support the development of concrete next steps along the employment journey.

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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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