Jobs for Autistic People
Providing Employment for Neurodivergent Individuals
Jobs for People with Autism
Neurodivergent individuals, including autistic people, often encounter bias and false assumptions that leave them out of the workforce. The truth is, no two people with autism are alike, and all have strengths and weaknesses—just like neurotypical people. As the human resources professional association CIPD has pointed out: “For too long, autism has tended to be defined only in negative terms, with a focus solely on the challenges people face. While neurodivergent people may face their own specific challenges in the workplace environment, or with particular tasks, they can bring unique and valuable strengths to their work.”
For more than 50 years, PRIDE Industries has been helping people with autism and other neurodivergent conditions bring their unique and valuable strengths to multiple industries. We’ve placed thousands of talented, neurodivergent individuals within our own lines of business and with our employment partners. If you or someone you know is autistic and looking for work, or if you are an employer seeking trained, supported employees, contact us.
Marc Grundy Shares His Story
Employment Services for Autistic People
There are a number of ways we help people with autism prepare for the job market, including:
- Skills assessment: We help people with autism identify which of their skills best align with job opportunities.
- Social skills training: We provide instruction and practice in important skills such as how to make eye contact, read body language, and start and maintain conversations.
- Communication skills development: We help people with autism learn how to give and receive feedback, write clear and concise emails, and present information in a way that is easy to understand.
- Accommodation analysis: We identify any workplace accommodations autistic people may need, such as a quiet work environment, noise-canceling headphones, or the option to take breaks if they are feeling overwhelmed.
People with autism often have strong skills in areas such as:
- Attention to detail
- Pattern recognition
- Task repetition
These skills can be a valuable asset in a variety of jobs, including software development, data entry, product assembly, packaging, and quality assurance.
When helping people with autism find jobs, we consider their individual interests and their abilities as revealed by a skills assessment. We also take their needs into account. Some autistic people may prefer to work in a quiet environment, for example, while others may prefer a more stimulating ambience. Some people with autism may be able to handle a lot of change, while others may need a more structured routine.
Job coaches support autistic employees on the job by ensuring that they have:
- Reasonable accommodations: This includes a supportive environment, flexible work hours, and assistive technology.
- A welcoming and inclusive work environment: To achieve this, we can educate staff about autism, show them how to promote understanding and acceptance, and how to celebrate diversity.
- Training and development opportunities: This helps employees with autism develop their skills and confidence, and progress in their careers.
- Recognition and rewards for achievement: This helps autistic employees feel valued and appreciated, and contributes to their overall well-being by providing career advancement opportunities.
Our Commitment to Service Excellence
PRIDE Industries holds the prestigious 3-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), an international, nonprofit health and human services accreditor. This recognizes that we have made a specific commitment to put the needs of our participants at the center of the services we design and deliver, and that we strive to continuously improve efficiency, fiscal health, and service quality and delivery.
In part, this accreditation recognizes PRIDE Industries for:
- Providing excellent employment services, employee development services, and employment planning services.
- Being highly regarded in the community and building positive relationships with partners and employees.
- Holding safety as a high priority.
- High satisfaction from persons served, families, and other stakeholders.
- Longevity of leadership, which provides continuity to the organization’s mission.
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
CARF accreditation means that the CARF-accredited provider is committed to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting preferences of individuals (cultural or otherwise), and providing the best quality of care possible. It also shows that the accredited organization values the feedback and input of their customers with disabilities and is accountable to the community. And, finally, accreditation demonstrates that an organization has opened its service delivery and business processes to outside scrutiny to improve the quality of its programs.
FAQs: Jobs for Autistic People
No two people with autism are alike. That said, autistic individuals tend to excel at pattern recognition, memory, and attention to detail. Good jobs for autistic people range from accounting to computer programming to data science to manufacturing to indoor and outdoor property maintenance. These jobs feature concrete, well-defined expectations that can be translated into detailed instructions with very measurable metrics for success. These jobs are also mostly individual contributor roles. Jobs that are not good for autistic people are those that require a great deal of independent, subjective decision-making or social interaction or that take place in sensory-rich environments with a lot of noise, smells, and bright lighting.
Resources are available to help autistic people get jobs through normal hiring channels or through organizations dedicated to helping people with autism and other disabilities find jobs. Some standard hiring practices like in-person interviews—especially group interviews with questions that are asked without advance notice—can be difficult for autistic people. This is why written interviews can be a useful accommodation for people with autism. It’s also helpful for autistic individuals to get as many details about the position before the interview. Reviewing clearly defined job descriptions and performance expectations, and even written workflows and work processes, before an interview will help autistic job candidates put their best foot forward. It’s also a good idea for candidates to find out in advance what kind of accommodations are available on the job, like flexible schedules and environments (work from home, adjustable lighting, noise and odor management, and privacy). Many support organizations provide on-site or remote job coaches, at no cost to the employer, to help autistic people navigate and succeed in the workplace.
High-functioning autistic people often excel at hard sciences and work that is predictable and repetitive. For this reason, they tend to gravitate toward individual contributor roles that do not require a lot of social interaction or in-the-moment decision-making. High-functioning autistic people are drawn to jobs with daily routines and measurable outcomes, positions that reward attention to detail and skill mastery. Jobs that either allow the individual to set their own schedule, or that have a conventional and familiar schedule, both appeal to many people with autism. This often leads them to careers in accounting, coding, data analysis, information technology, and document control.