About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2029-2037
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0568

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

EMPLOYABILITY AND WORKPLACE TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: A CANADIAN MODEL

C. Besnard

York University, Glendon College (CANADA)
In Canada, advocates of social justice and families of children on the autistic spectrum (ASD) have succeeded in breaking social and academic barriers for their kids to be fully included, with the necessary support and accommodations, in the Canadian academic system. I will therefore briefly present the numerous challenges that have been overcome and the success that have been accomplished, the last twenty years, in the Canadian schools and post-secondary institutions which are the product and reflection of a society which, because of its multicultural identity, is quite open to diversity, and encourages the full inclusion of all its members whether typical or atypical (Besnard, 2015).

I will then explore the issue of whether the establishment of more equity in schools and post-secondary institutions is the motor of social and professional change and equity in the current labor market which is becoming increasingly competitive. I will therefore explore whether today, in Canada, individuals on the autism spectrum who have completed school or post-secondary institutions have a better chance than before to be successful in their job search (Weiss, 2016). I will be studying if they are still facing major blocks in their search for employment or if the fortress of the labour market is starting to crack thanks to a shift in mentalities and professional practices regarding the social and societal issue of increasing labour force participation of adults on the autism spectrum by acknowledging their hidden strengths and abilities while accommodating their needs (Autism Speaks, 2016)?

I will finally talk about new initiatives striving to make the labour force more inclusive such as the establishment of transition programs, workforce and career models, tool kits and internship projects, grants for workplace accommodations and assistive technologies, job coaches, and guides that provide information about the support programs available for employers and individuals on the spectrum. I will also discuss the invaluable help provided by job coaches who help train the ASD employees learn the skills needed and who also show co-workers the way they can best support them. To conclude, I will mention how co-workers generally appreciate working alongside persons with autism as they feel that their teamwork skills are enhanced, and how the public also approve of the hiring of employees on the spectrum.

This presentation will be based on my long-time experience and research regarding this issue as well as recent Canadian initiatives such as Ready, Willing and Able, Job Start, Specialisterne, Autism Community Training Society, Autism Speaks, Workplace Essential Skills Partnership, and The JVS Job Readiness Program. It will also be much inspired by guides such as Employing people with autism: a brief guide for employers published by The National Autistic Society of Northern Ireland (2011) and Employment Guide for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) published by Autism New Jersey (2009).
@InProceedings{BESNARD2018EMP,
author = {Besnard, C.},
title = {EMPLOYABILITY AND WORKPLACE TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: A CANADIAN MODEL},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0568},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0568},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {2029-2037}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Besnard
TI - EMPLOYABILITY AND WORKPLACE TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: A CANADIAN MODEL
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0568
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 2029
EP - 2037
ER -
C. Besnard (2018) EMPLOYABILITY AND WORKPLACE TRAINING FOR INDIVIDUALS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM: A CANADIAN MODEL, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 2029-2037.
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