Part of AsIAm’s work of being Ireland’s National Autism Charity is to provide online training for businesses, employers and public sector organisations across the country. As an autistic-led, not-for-profit autism advocacy organisation with over half of our staff being either autistic or neurodivergent, we have the knowledge and expertise help your business tap into the unlimited potential of embracing autism and neurodiversity. AsIAm provides online training to help your business succeed in including autistic people in your organisation as employees and customers.
We produce a wide variety of online training modules, including bespoke modules for a number of businesses and organisations nationwide, including the public sector, which can be tailored to suit your organisation’s needs, the size of the organisation and the industry you do business in.
In Module 1 of AsIAm Online Training, you will learn about what autism is, what it is like to be autistic, the differences in communication between autistic and people who don’t have autism, and the barriers autistic people face when they work for your organisation or access your services.
Module 2 will dive deeper into how barriers facing autistic people look like in the workplace and when they access your products and services, and what steps you can take to make your business more accessible to the 1 in 65 people that make up Ireland’s autism community. These include everyday accessibility barriers, communicating your message in an autism-friendly manner, how you can make your organisation’s sensory environment more autism-friendly, how to build staff and public understanding around autism, what you can do to make your business autism-friendly and how some of our services can help autism-proof your business.
Benefits of accessing our online training:
Access a vast untapped talent tool of autistic people: autistic people have many
desirable qualities that employers across many industries want, but face many barriers to finding the jobs they want. A major UK study from the National Autistic Society showed that just 16% of autistic adults are in full-time employment, with the vast majority of autistic adults (77%) say that they want to work. With the right support in place, usually some simple accommodations and an understanding and supportive organisation, can yield massive benefits to your organisation and can help your organisation become a market leader in autism inclusion. James Mahoney, Executive Director at JP Morgan Chase, states that “I firmly believe that companies could always benefit from having employees who see things in an unconventional way, which is something to remember any time an individual on the spectrum is seeking a job.”
Many Autistic people have personal qualities which would be assets to companies and which would make them successful in many industries, not just the STEM sector. Many autistic people have a wide range of skills, including:
- High attention-to-detail, accuracy and quality of work;
- High long-term memory with the ability to recall detailed information;
- Strong adherence to routines, rules and regulations;
- Strong loyalty to employers who give them the opportunity to showcase their talents;
- Highly Reliable workers: many autistic people are more punctual, and have lower absentee rates than neurotypical peers;
- May have expert, in-depth knowledge in their subject;
- May have strong pattern recognition skills;
- Strong work ethic and intense focus;
- Strong sense of fairness and integrity.
Hiring autistic people makes business sense: Including autistic people in your workforce is about more than doing the right thing and adhering to employment laws, it just makes business sense. Businesses who hire autistic people show a proven Return on Investment (ROI), which increases their organisation’s productivity, sustainability and profitability, while also improves your reputation as a socially responsible and progressive company to clients, customers and the public.
Finding innovative solutions: More employers are realising that, by either having Neurodiversity in the Workplace strategies and hiring autistic people (and neurodivergent people), they can vastly improve their ability to innovate and to respond to everyday challenges facing our society. Many autistic people who are working typically had to find creative and innovative solutions to overcome the obstacles they face to finding the job they want. By making simple changes to your organisation to accommodate autistic people, you can harness this ability to find creative and innovative solutions to complex problems, to advance your organisation’s offerings and to help build a more progressive and inclusive society. The solutions you use to include autistic people can also form part of wider strategies to enhance disability inclusion in the workplace and may result in ‘universal accommodations’, that can make your organisation more accessible and inclusive to everyone.
Promote greater understanding and communication across the organisation: Making your organisation more inclusive of the autism community can bring a wide range of benefits to your business which can go beyond hiring autistic people:
Embracing neurodiversity will help create better performing, more responsive and innovative, organisations. When autistic people and neurodivergent people are valued and appreciated as key members of your organisation with a wide range of skills, it can stimulate innovation, demonstrate respect across the organisation and help your business better respond to changing market conditions by increasing engagement and productivity among employees.
An autism-friendly organisation is a people-friendly organisation: As an organisation, you may already have autistic or neurodivergent staff in your ranks but may not know it as they may not feel comfortable disclosing their condition to you. By taking our online training, Organisations can help tap into the power of neurodiversity to increase staff engagement and productivity which encourages neurodivergent staff to be more comfortable in disclosing their condition(s), to receive reasonable accommodations to be even more successful at work. Making proactive changes to your organisation’s workplace practices, recruitment process and communication practices can help create a more inclusive organisation, and everyone can benefit from having clearer job descriptions, job interviews and a more people-friendly workplace.
And being an autism-friendly organisation can also help your customer base become more neurodiverse and attract more neurodivergent customers. Having clearer communication channels, providing information in different formats (like Social Stories, Plain English, Easy-to-Read) and signalling to customers that you are a neurodiverse organisation which welcomes neurodivergent customers can increase customer engagement and trust in your organisation, broaden your customer base to reach untapped markets, and improve relationships with clients and customers.
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For more information about our online training offerings, you can find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org