A big part of providing a “whole life” for adults with autism is offering employment opportunities. In this episode of her popular blogcast series, Monica covers the latest trends in the area, including some exciting corporate initiatives.
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Today we’re talking with Monica Meyer of Monica Meyer Consulting, an expert in adult autism.
Monica, what are the latest trends in employment for adults with autism?
Monica Meyer: The latest trends in adults with autism are, I feel, pretty exciting. There is really a new initiative that has been moving across the United States, and that is looking at a corporate level of hiring people with autism and other disabilities. It is looking at how the system works currently, which is by having a job coach or having a job developer going and try and present information to a business at a street level versus now looking at corporate level of having a corporate initiative that hires people with autism and leaves many of the support strategies and understanding and training within a corporation for the HR department rather than trying to infuse it through an outside consultant. Similar to what supported employment agencies do in our community.
What are some specific corporate initiatives that support adult autism?
Monica Meyer: Well, there are several. One most notable is Microsoft, and a lot of people say, “Monica, that really has to do with people with more high-functioning autism,” and it really isn’t. It is looking at the individual, what their strengths and interests are, and they are customizing and carving out specific jobs for people on the autism spectrum because there are unique gifts and talents of a person with autism.
Microsoft being one of them, and then secondly, Walgreens. Walgreens started a distribution center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and it was actually developed by a parent of a son who has autism, and his dream was to have something for her son to go to and be part of every day. So being a vice president of logistics, he developed a distribution center that currently has employed over 40% of their workforce have people with disabilities. And of that, that particular distribution center is 25% more efficient than any other Walgreens distribution center. This goes to show that if we do have supports and strategies and adaptations and modifications, we can hire many people in an untapped workforce that could contribute to work in the United States.
Thank you, Monica. For more information, listeners may call Monica at 360-904-8938 or visit MonicaMeyer.com.
When adults with autism have employment opportunities, it goes a long ways toward providing them the full life they need to become contributing members of the community. Call Monica to learn more!