..I was drawn to Autism Works as an organisation, firstly, because it offers a service that my organisation needs. It does so through a unique combination of specific skills in its staff, a base in the region and very clear societal benefits. This business model uses the talents of its people, while offering a range of opportunities which those people may not otherwise be able to access. Further, it supports the economy in the region. It is a model which should be used more widely across the country, in a range of contexts.
Director of Information Systems and Services
This sounds like a great opportunity for young people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition to find their way into work, as well as get the support and confidence they need to develop their skills and abilities to find jobs elsewhere. I’m looking forward to visiting Autism Works to see for myself the difference they are making to young peoples’ lives in Sunderland.
I am particularly interested in Autism Works because I have had contact with people diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism who live in North Tyneside, so I have heard at first hand the problems that they face in everyday life. I am happy to lend my support to your project and I am glad to hear that such a positive organisation exists to help people diagnosed with Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome gain their right to work.
As a former governor at a special school I’m very much aware of the issues you describe and I will play my part in highlighting them with a view to winning greater support for the kind of work you do.
I would like to offer my support to Autism Works as it is both an inspiring and exciting project.
Autism Works has the potential to be a major step forward in terms of implementing the National Adult Autism Strategy through helping adults with autism into work, increasing awareness and understanding of autism among potential employers as well as contributing towards improving access to services to enable adults with autism to live dignified and independent lives. As well as benefits for adults with autism, Autism Works will reduce much stress that many parents, carers and professionals face in terms of supporting them.
Presently, only around 15 per cent of adults with autism are in full-time paid employment, and many within this group are in either jobs unsuitable for them or do not make good use of their skills and qualifications. Parents and carers currently face much stress in terms of accessing appropriate services and worry about what will happen when they are no longer able to support their son or daughter with autism while professionals working with adults on the autistic spectrum (e.g. counsellors, social workers etc.) are faced with huge caseloads of adults with autism experiencing depression and mental illness.
One of the best routes out of poverty and away from reliance on benefits as well is the ability to obtain, keep and progress in employment. Currently, adults with autism face many barriers to employment through difficulties with social skills required to be successful in conventional recruitment practices, especially interviews. Adults with autism will benefit from the new approaches that Autism Works seeks to develop to help support them into employment through making necessary adjustments to recruitment policies as well skilled support provided to support adults with autism in employment, enabling them to maintain and keep a job.
I am delighted to support this inspiring and exciting project.