Ecosystem Approach to Employment and Autism

Working age autistic individuals have the lowest employment rate in Canada at 26% in 2017. This is much lower than the general population and lower than other disability groups. 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. When applied to employment for individuals on the autism spectrum, it considers all the critical intersecting elements: the autistic person, their family, support agencies, the workplace, the broader community, and supportive public policy. These elements need to work together to influence and improve employment success.