SameChance Career Clinics for Autistic Adults

Give Autistic people the #SameChance this World Autism Month

 

At AsIAm and IrishJobs we are keenly aware of the unemployment and underemployment rates within the autistic community. This awareness was further compounded by the results of of AsIAm’s recent 2022 Cardholder ID Survey, where members of the autistic community expressed their own perceived barriers to employment. These included the existence of stigma and stereotypes about what autism truly is and a fear of a lack of reasonable accommodations within the workplace.

AsIAm’s Adult Support and Employment Department with IrishJobs is taking a twofold approach to this wide-reaching topic. On one side of this process, AsIAm will be running workshops for employers and businesses who wish to learn more about autism in general, as well as becoming a neurodiversity-affirmative workplace.

Additionally, for the autistic community, AsIAm will run SameChance AsIAm IrishJobs Careers Clinics with the support of IrishJobs for autistic adults where we will run several workshops, empowering autistic adults to achieve their career goals, gain employment and express their needs authentically in the workplace.

The SameChance AsIAm IrishJobs Career Clinics will take place bimonthly, beginning on the 16th of May. Workshops will run for approximately one hour, and will take a neurodiversity-affirmative approach to the following topics:

1: CVs & Cover Letters

Whilst many autistic adults may already have drafted their own CVs and cover letters in the past, many community members have never had an opportunity to discuss their concerns regarding this early stage of the employment process. At this workshop, we will discuss the community’s questions, concerns, and ideas through a practical, hands-on approach of drafting professional CVs and cover letters that is led by the candidates’ own experiences.

2. Autism and Employment: Disclosing Your Diagnosis

For many autistic adults, the choice of whether to disclose their diagnosis (or self-identified diagnosis) can be rather daunting. In this workshop, we will discuss what disclosure means to each candidate with the required sensitivity. At AsIAm, we will be collaborating with businesses that are receiving neurodiversity-affirmative training, and therefore, we encourage each candidate to be their truest, most authentic selves in the workplace. However, how this authenticity manifests can be different for everyone and above all, we encourage candidates to be true to themselves. Within this workshop, we will explore all aspects of disclosure by centring candidates’ opinions, concerns, and often unheard perspectives.

3. Interview Skills and Communication in the Workplace

For all jobseekers, a job interview for a new role can be a daunting experience. Autistic adults experience these same concerns, but have additional experiences related to any sensory or communication differences they may have. In this workshop, we speak frankly about the challenges presented within the interview process, whilst offering advice for the autistic candidates to express their authentic personalities, plentiful strengths, and queries in the interview process.

4. Self-Advocacy in the Workplace

After being hired, self-advocacy can be a challenging experience for all employees. However, autistic adults may also have additional reasonable accommodations that would help them to carry out their role most effectively. These might be related to their sensory, social and communication experiences and can change daily. Expressing these needs to management and colleagues is nothing short of terrifying. In this workshop, we will explore scenario-based exercises that help the candidates gain hands-on experience expressing their needs. This will also provide an opportunity for the candidates to ask their own questions, work through personal scenarios and gain confidence in expressing any reasonable accommodations that may be needed.

*We will also be running an additional workshop for workplace employees who wish to mentor newly hired autistic staff about how they too can be adopt a neurodiversity-affirmative approach to mentorship.

 

This is a free opportunity.

 

Please contact jennifer@asiam.ie with any additional queries.

Expression of Interest: Careers Clinics

AsIAm is keenly aware of the large rates of underemployment within the autistic community. As a result, we will be running SameChance Careers Clinics for autistic adults seeking employment beginning on May 16th at 4pm for approximately 1 hour. Clinics will take place every second week and will be run online via Zoom. Topics to be included: - Creating a CV & Cover Letter - Interview Prep - Self-Advocacy in the workplace - Diagnosis disclosure *This is a free opportunity.* If you have any queries, please email: Jennifer@asiam.ie
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