Educational and vocational engagement

We determine and promote the best learning and vocational pathways for autistic people at all levels of education and in volunteer and paid employment.

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 - Patrick Dwyer

Watch Patrick Dwyer present about building neurodiversity-inclusive postsecondary campuses

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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

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