Employers Getting to Know Tomorrow’s Employee Today

Creating Accessible and Inclusive Workplaces for Individuals with ASD

We all have unique strengths, challenges, talents and interests. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other disabilities are no different. Despite this, labour force participation is the lowest for persons with developmental disabilities compared to any other disability in Canada – 50 percent lower, and the employment rate for individuals with ASD is even direr at only 14.3 percent.1

Worktopia aims to foster greater awareness of the skills and contributions that individuals with ASD bring to the workplace, and to help remove barriers to employment by dispelling myths and negative perceptions that exist about autism. The programs provide opportunities for employers to work directly with the participants and to experience firsthand the abilities of this largely untapped workforce, and the benefits of being a more inclusive employer.

To read more about how Worktopia is helping employers learn about autism and how to create more inclusive and welcoming workplaces, click on the TIDBIT link below.

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Peer Mentor Evolution

Peer mentorship was recognized as an important element in the original design of the Worktopia programs. The concept of using peer mentors who do not have autism to provide support to participants who do, has evolved to include program graduates who have autism.

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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.

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The Bigger Picture

In Worktopia, more than 44% of individuals who enrolled in the EmploymentWorks Canada program reported experiencing three or more co-occurring mental health conditions. Challenges posed by these factors may negatively influence employment and engagement in the community.

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