April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day and April is World Autism Awareness Month. Circa’s mission is to help companies build more diverse and inclusive workplaces, we encourage neurodiversity, not only because we want to provide equal employment opportunity to individuals with disabilities, but also because diversity improves the bottom line.
We asked Craig Leen, Circa Board Member, if there was one message he would like to share with all of us, what would it be? And this is what he wants us to know:
“As a parent of two children on the autism spectrum, and as a neurodiversity advocate, I would like everyone to always remember how important it is to make someone with autism feel welcome in the workplace for exactly who they are. Each autistic employee is unique, and it is a very broad spectrum, so be careful about overgeneralizing, but be open to non-typical ways of thinking, working, and interacting. My son Pierce, who is on the mild part of the spectrum, can work independently and does not need any accommodations. My daughter Alex, who has profound autism, needs full-time support and supervision, and I advocate for accommodations for her all the time (and wish they were more readily granted as a matter of course). It is a very broad spectrum. And please remember, many Autism at Work Programs are focused on tech, and there are many autistic employees who thrive and are brilliant in tech, but not all autistic individuals are tech savvy, and many will wish to pursue jobs in other areas. It’s important that Autism at Work programs are in all industries, not just tech, and that the moderate and more profound parts of the autism spectrum are a focus of these programs as well.”
To help us understand and increase our fluency on the topic of Autism, we’ve compiled some great resources for you:
Learn. Understand. Support. Accept. Get Involved.