PEAS: Partnership for employment outcomes for autistic people in society

PEAS logoThe partnership for employment outcomes for autistic people in society (PEAS) project was funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency and undertaken by researchers within the La Trobe University Department of Psychology and Counselling and the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC). The aim of the PEAS project was to understand the current landscape regarding Disability Employment Service (DES) providers and the autism community.

The employment rate for autistic people in Australia is incredibly low. DES providers are well-placed to assist autistic people to gain and maintain employment given they are nationally dispersed and government funded. However, to date there has been no research exploring either the experience of DES staff in working with autistic people, or autistic people in working with DES staff. A research project conducted by the PEAS team explored these areas. Based on the findings of this project, the PEAS team developed a training package designed to increase awareness and understanding of autism within DES. The training package was co-developed with autistic people and DES staff.

The PEAS project was conducted in collaboration with a DES provider with branches across multiple states. The PEAS training package was delivered to staff at this organisation, who then provided feedback on training content and delivery.

The project took place over 12-months from September 2019 to September 2020. We hope to extend the PEAS project by:

  • Seeking more feedback on the training package, and making improvements as a result
  • Making the training package available to more DES providers
  • Releasing the resources created as a part of the initial PEAS project to the public

Information sheets

The following information or 'tip' sheets were co-created by the PEAS team alongside autistic people, family members of autistic people, and DES employees. The initial purpose of these tip sheets was to provide key information that may assist DES employees in facilitating conversations with employers about hiring and supporting autistic employees. We have chosen to release these publicly as we believe they are a practical resource offering valuable information that may help employers to learn about meeting the needs of autistic employees. We would like to thank Crealo for designing these tip sheets.

If you have any feedback about these tip sheets, or would like the information in a more accessible format, please email us at peas@latrobe.edu.au.

Community reference group

We would like to acknowledge the following people for their work with us on the Information Sheets, and training package (and those who worked with us but chose not to be personally acknowledged).

  • Ann Guy
  • Danielle Croaker
  • Dr Ray David
  • Sean McPherson

Investigators

Further information

For more information about this project please contact Dr Rebecca Flower at peas@latrobe.edu.au.