Educational and vocational engagement and participation

Vocation can empower autistic adults to become more engaged, active and independent.

Research program leader: 
Professor Cheryl Dissanayake

Researchers:
Darren Hedley, Amanda Richdale, Simon Bury, Rebecca Flower, Josephine Barbaro, Melissa Gilbert, Lauren Lawson

Our work aims to benefit autistic people, employers and broader society by:

  • increasing the rates of autistic people in high quality jobs
  • ensuring an individual differences approach to supporting autistic strengths at work.

OTARC Seminar Series

Dr Jennifer Spoor talks about the increase of Autism@Work style employment programs. Jennifer asks what ethical tensions might arise? E.g., Do these programs provide autistic people with meaningful work?

Watch the talk

Support practices at work: Views of autistic employees

Autistic people face major barriers to getting into the workforce. This can affect their wellbeing. Three focus groups aimed to understand autistic experiences of recruitment, selection, training, and onboarding in a supportive employment program.

We found four themes:

  1. previous work experiences
  2. expectations of the program
  3. recruitment
  4. selection processes; and training and transition.

Overall, trainees in the program supported the use of alternate recruitment and selection processes.

Where to now? Our next step is identify ideal factors and support systems linked to successful employment for autistic people that lead to long-lasting and meaningful careers.

Read the article

OTARC's other Research Programs