Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 12:16
Christchurch based charity The Wessex Autistic Society believes that, whilst not everyone with autism will be able to work, it is vital that those who are able should be given the opportunity and support to do so.
Chris Blaney, working with careful attention to detail at the Wessex Autistic Society’s Portfield School, recently.
Many people with autism are able to work. And many people with autism want to work. But recent research shows that only 15% of adults with autism are in full-time employment in the UK.
Those with Asperger's Syndrome particularly, often have excellent skills and knowledge useful in the workplace but have difficulty finding and keeping jobs in open employment.
Martin Kaye, Employment Support Adviser based at the charity’s Dorchester resource base comments, “It is an important aim of our Employment Support Service to create paid employment for people with autism. Our new pilot project recently employed several service users to do some painting and decorating work at Portfield School. As a charity we felt it was important that we are not asking local employers to support people with autism in this way before we did so ourselves. The experience was a very positive one for all involved and we hope local businesses will be encouraged to join the initiative.”
Martin continues; “There is considerable scope for the inclusion of people with autism in the workplace and feedback suggests many employees would be supportive of such projects.”
The Wessex Autistic Society recognises appropriate training and support would be needed for employers and employees to ensure that people with autism are welcomed into the workplace and supported day-to-day.
The society would like to involve other industry sectors including computer-based Administration Services; computer building and repair services; and scale-model construction. If you work in any of these sectors and would like to get involved in the initiative, The Wessex Autistic Society would like to hear from you. If you are a potential employee, the charity’s Employment Support Service offers one-to-one employment advice, guidance and support across the Wessex region and may be able to assist you.
Please contact Martin Kaye 01305 213130 for further information. Alternatively, please visit http://www.twas.org.uk/index.php?pIDref=137-employment_support