Be an Employment Champion for Autism!
The Power of the Dream has teamed up with Persever8 to create a new grass-roots movement for improving job opportunities for adults with autism and intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD). We invite friends and family members of people with autism/IDD to the kickoff event for “Triangle Inclusive Employment” (TIE) on October 17, 7 pm, at the Frontier in RTP.
Through the TIE program, parents and family members of persons with autism will learn how to “Be an Employment Champion for Autism” at their work places. Parents will receive guidance and talking points about the advantages of employing this special population.
Connecting families affected by autism will also create a network of Triangle professionals who are aware of the challenges their children face once they leave school. Understanding their options, available resources, and hurdles to employment will empower them to educate others, including their employers.
“Businesses often envision problems when they think about hiring a person with a disability”, says Rita Faust, President of The Power of the Dream. “It is important that employers are educated about the advantages of hiring qualified candidates with autism/IDD and the resources available to them. This is not charity, it makes business sense and employers all over the US are slowly catching on. “
More than 3.5 million people live with Autism Spectrum Disorder, several thousand in the Triangle. Autism affects 1 in 58 births in the NC Triangle region, higher than the national average. Once children with autism age out of the school system, they face dire odds of finding employment. Approximately 80% of them are unemployed or underemployed, and most live at home. This not only leads to isolation for the individual with the disability, it affects the entire family.
“We know how uniquely talented many young people with high-functioning autism are, especially when it comes to coding and software testing”, states Allison Zoller, Executive Director of Persever8. “Seeing the fantastic abilities on one hand, and watching the struggle to find employment on the other hand, is very frustrating. We hope that the engagement of parents with their employers will lead to more job opportunities for these motivated and capable young people.”
The event is free but registration through Eventbrite is encouraged (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/triangle-inclusive-employment-kick-off-tickets-27265403556).
To learn more about Persever8, visit http://www.persever8.org/.