HOUSTON – For a long time, the month of April has been about autism awareness but that notion is now changing.
The organization, Autism Speaks, says it is now more about acceptance and creating more opportunities for adults living with autism.
Meet Chandler Carver, 22. He is a busy student at Lone Star College. Carver has a part-time job and he’s volunteered with Autism Speaks for more than a decade.
“I went through the Texas Workforce Committee and they provided me classes on how to do meetings, job interviews and how to write a resume,” Carver said.
Chandler is also a young adult living with autism.
He says he would like schools, workplaces and neighbors to be more compassionate and understanding.
“They can educate themselves about autism and be patient with them and accept who they are,” Carver said.
Autism Speaks is now working to create more opportunities for young adults with autism.
“How can we better leverage their strengths how can we better include them and make sure they are part of the fabric of our communities,” said Dave Kearon, director of Adult Services for Autism Speaks.
And that is a big reason why Autism Speaks is launching the Workplace Inclusion Program, which offers several courses and programs to prepare young adults with autism for the workforce. The program also gives businesses the resources to better recruit candidates with autism.
“We need to go further and be more active embracing those differences and recognizing that including people with Autism and other people with disabilities in your workforce is not an act of charity, you’re doing this because they’re going to help your business,” Kearon said.
Autism Speaks is also partnering with Best Buddies and the Special Olympics for the initiative, “Delivering Jobs.”
They want to create one million jobs and leadership positions for people living with autism and other disabilities by the year 2025.
For more information on how to get involved, click here.