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Hiring Individuals with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

Earlier this month we took a look at clients looking for a job when they have high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Today we touch base on the employer side of things and explain benefits of hiring individuals with autism or Asperger’s syndrome, how to accommodate them and much more. Also, we provide some links at the end to assist you with getting more information if needed.

AAMwordcloud3As explained in the previous post, high-functioning autism (HFA) and Asperger’s syndrome are at the least severe end of the autism spectrum, and can be characterized by difficulties in communication and interaction with others. Please refer to our last post to learn more about high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

Benefits of Hiring Individuals with Disabilities

By focusing on an individual’s ability rather than their disability you will have access to a larger pool of qualified applicants. By promoting a stigma-free workplace for people with HFA and Asperger’s syndrome, you will be promoting a more diverse, respectful, and welcoming environment among all employees. People with disabilities often do their jobs as well or better than other employees doing the same job according to various research studies. Government wage subsidies for hiring people with disabilities may be available.

Various studies have found that people with disabilities have a better working attitude when compared to people without disabilities. Various studies have found that people with disabilities have a better attendance record and lower turnover rates compared to people without disabilities; this reduces costs associated with higher turnover and can increase your bottom line.

Possible Accommodations You May Need to Provide

It can be very easy and cost effective to accommodate for someone with HFA and Asperger’s syndrome:

Few individuals actually require physical accommodation changes, if they do they are usually simple to implement and are also cost effective:

– Flexible scheduling; part-time, flexible hours
– Ensuring tasks are clear and the date the task needs to be complete by is precise
– Modifying job duties
– Using technology
– Creating specific and detailed work plans with consistent dead lines

Accommodating for people with HFA or Asperger’s syndrome is usually zero to low cost. The benefits of accommodating and hiring people with these disabilities or any disability outweigh the costs associated with making accommodations.

Legislation

– According to the Canadian Human Rights Act (1985), you are not able to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual or, in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in relation to an employee on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

– Under the Canadian Human Rights Act (1985), no one may be discriminated against on the basis of “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered.”

– According to the Canadian Human Rights Act (1985), an employer must accommodate for new or existing employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), is comprised of five standards, one being employment. The AODA’s employment standard will soon enact regulations to make finding, hiring, and supporting employees with disabilities regular practice within companies and organizations.

Helpful Links

Here is a list of websites you may find informative:

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA):

http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/

or

http://pathemployment.com/businessservices/accessibility-360/

Canadian Human Rights Act (1985):

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/H-6/

Targeted government wage subsidies:

http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/employers/wageSubsidy.html

Disability Employment Success Stories:

http://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/

*Disclaimer: Please note that all people experience their disability differently, and this resource will apply to each person based their own personal experience.

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