By Brandon Fargis
The end of Autism Awareness Month provides us with an opportunity to reflect, celebrate, and carry forward an awareness of the unique advantages and skills that people on the spectrum offer the workplace. Let’s remember that supporting those with autism makes workplaces more inclusive, increases autism awareness, and increases understanding of the condition. Autism awareness should be part of every month!
Individuals on the spectrum offer valuable skills and perspectives to the workplace, including attention to detail, strong problem-solving abilities, and a unique way of thinking that leads to innovation and creative solutions. This can ultimately lead to improved products, customer experiences, and increased revenue for the company!
Leaders can take concrete steps to improve inclusion and support for those on the spectrum. This may include offering training to managers and coworkers on how to work with individuals on the spectrum, providing flexible work arrangements and accommodations, and creating a welcoming and supportive culture for all employees.
Leaders can also improve the hiring pipeline and increase the representation of those on the spectrum within their organizations by partnering with organizations that support individuals on the spectrum, actively recruiting individuals on the spectrum, and providing support for those who may benefit from accommodations and support. Organizations such as Autism Speaks, The Autism Society of America, and the Autism Research Institute greatly increase awareness and understanding of autism. They can also provide resources, training, and guidance to employers to ensure that those on the spectrum can thrive. Collaboration with such organizations can lead to a collaborative and supportive workplace culture, resulting in greater success and growth for the organization.
Inclusion and acceptance of those on the spectrum in the workplace is not only the right thing to do but it’s also good for business. All minds should be allowed at the table of innovation, and by embracing the unique skills and perspectives of those on the spectrum, companies can create a more diverse and successful workplace for everyone.
Let’s use this Autism Awareness Month as an opportunity to take concrete steps to improve inclusion and support for those on the spectrum in the workplace. By doing so, we can create a more welcoming, innovative, and successful future for all!
Brandon Fargis is a software executive and neurodiversity thought leader with extensive experience in top software and technology companies. He holds degrees in Psychology, Computer Science, and Business, and has a strong passion for diversity and inclusion, particularly neurodiversity.
Using his unique perspective on technology and people, Brandon helps organizations achieve their goals and improve employee satisfaction. As a passionate advocate for neurodiversity, he has developed a deep understanding of how to create a culture of inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.
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Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.