The directory is intended to signpost adults with autism and prospective employers to the range of local employment services available, as well as providing a reference document for service providers and other professionals involved with helping adults with autism to find work. It also provides jobseekers with autism some useful guidance on finding a job and provides employers with an understanding of the employment potential of people with autism and ways in which they can help someone with the condition become a valued member of their company.
The local employment services included in the directory have been identified as a result of a mapping exercise undertaken by a multi- agency sub group of the LAWG, comprising representatives of most of the organisations involved in the provision of such services for adults with autism.
While the directory provides an accurate reflection of the identified services available, it is recognised that the list may not be exhaustive. The directory will be updated at periodic intervals and further existing provision identified and new services coming on stream will be included.
Other key messages included in the directory are:
·Many people with autism are highly intelligent and well educated.
People with autism thrive in a structured and well-organised environment and have many strengths that are advantageous to an employer, such as accuracy, a good eye for detail, reliability and meticulous application of routine tasks.
Although people with autism often need some level of support in the workplace, much of this can be very straightforward and easy to provide.
Once settled in to the workplace, people with autism often become highly valued staff members.
The potential of people with autism is widely recognised by companies who have employed individuals with the condition.
The key to the successful employment of a person with autism is to treat each person as an individual and avoid assumptions about their likely performance because they have autism.
This directory has been produced by the Local Autism Working Group (LAWG) set up by Sunderland City Council to support the delivery of the Local Autism Action Plan.