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AAoM Teams With Ford

“For so many individuals with autism spectrum disorder, getting and keeping a job is a challenge. Often, companies lack understanding of the unique characteristics associated with autism, which can be challenging, and unfortunately this can lead to perceptions of a poor fit for the individual and coworkers. I applaud Ford for taking these critical steps to understand autism, and for giving those who have struggled to find competitive employment real career opportunities that could be life changing for them.”

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AAoM’s Core Belief Regarding Employment of Individuals with Autism:
All citizens have the right to work. No perceived obstacle, prejudice or lack of awareness should deny any person that opportunity.
Current Problem:
There are an estimated 1,470,000 people in the state of Michigan over the age of five who have a form of disability. Approximately 270,000 people, or 2.9% of the state’s population, experience difficulties with performing activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or moving around inside of their homes. Additionally, there are approximately 805,000 people in the state who have a some form of work disability, and another 287,000 people with disabilities in Michigan who are employed. Finally, 60,000 people with disabilities in Michigan are unemployed, while 457,000 are currently not in the workforce. (www.disabled-world.com/news/america/michigan/#sthash.Bjf88pG0.dpuf)

Governor Synder issued an Executive Directive No. 2014-1 that that the State of Michigan be a leader in adopting the employment practices within state government. In coordination with the Department of Civil Rights, the Civil Rights Commission and the Civil Service Commission, the State Equal Opportunity and Diversity Council (SEODC) shall recommend a program for attracting and retaining individuals with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities and physical disabilities that includes competitive integrated employment opportunities. The program shall require the participation and engagement of all Executive Branch departments and agencies. www.michigan.gov/documents/snyder/ED_2014-1_472471_7.pdf

On July 26, 2010, President Obama issued an Executive Order 13548 — Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-increasing-federal-employment-individuals-with-disabilities

Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act prohibits employment discrimination based on disability and requires affirmative action in the hiring, placement and advancement of people with disabilities by federal contractors or subcontractors who have federal contracts or subcontracts in excess of $10,000. The new Section 503 regulations became effective on March 24, 2014. The new regulations establish a nationwide 7% utilization goal for qualified Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs). www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/section503.htm

Employment First is based on the expectation that individuals with disabilities can, with proper training, job matching techniques, assistive technology and reasonable accommodations, earn a fair and prevailing wage alongside individuals without disabilities in fully integrated settings. This philosophy lays the foundation upon which a productive, valued workforce of individuals with disabilities can be built. www.mpas.org/sites/default/files/115075_mpa_employment_first_rprt_prf5_0.pdf


Employers that are addressing disability:
  • Walgreens
  • Meijer
  • Lowes
  • Home Depot
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Ford
  • Tim Hortons (Lansing area locations)
The challenges/barriers which exist to employing those with ASD:
There is a lack of information about autism and the benefits of employing a person with autism.

Business leaders lack information about successful models for hiring people with autism.

The relationships between and among government-funded programs (e.g., SSI, Medicaid, Vocational Rehabilitation, Ticket to Work) are difficult to understand for business leaders, employers and individuals with ASD and their families.

The quality and scope of job coaching varies greatly, not only from one provider agency to another, but even within a trusted agency. In addition, many job coaches lack a basic understanding of business and human resources.

Businesses operate in highly litigious and cost-conscious environments. As such, concerns about rising healthcare costs, disability insurance, and workers’ compensation may hinder the recruitment of employees with disabilities, including those with autism.

Many employers lack knowledge about adults with autism and their strengths and talents. Their expectations are often based on anecdotal accounts or stereotypes that must be changed. Research demonstrates that employees with autism matched to the appropriate position will outperform their typical peers (Allan I. Bergman High Impact Mission-based Consulting & Training, September 2010).

The Opportunity:

AAoM partners with employers to increase workforce diversity and to enhance awareness, skills, and accommodations that would create a more successful “fit” between the employee with ASD and the work environment. Hiring individuals with ASD creates opportunities for success, not just for the affected employee, but for the employer, as well. Benefits to companies include;
· List benefits (tax benefits, employee productivity, etc.)

· Work Opportunity Tax Credit

· Barrier Removal Tax Credit

· Disabled Access Credit (small business)

· No cost recruiting, saves the company time and money

· Opportunity for companies to participate in on-the-job training program to evaluate a potential employee before hiring them

· Post hire consultation services

· Motivated, reliable and dependable employees

· Recruiting of quality applicants

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