Inclusive Practices for Employers

Create employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum with the goal of developing their confidence, competency, and social and life skills. This will take them one step closer to reaching independence.


Presume Competence

  1. TACA Families report that many career training programs bias their focus on low-skill roles. 
  2. Individuals with autism are capable. When considering roles for an employee or intern with autism, think about a range of professional experiences.  

Build Roles and Build Culture

Build an Inclusive Culture 

  • HR policies help create and foster an inclusive work environment. If you are looking for resources, check the Job Accommodation Network and Employer Assistance and Resource Network. 
  • Generate public-facing statements and policies on diversity and inclusion.  
  • Educate and equip employees on best practices for working with individuals with autism. 

Consider how you can use inclusive design as you build out roles and supports: 

  • Some individuals may experience sensory challenges or sensory overload in the workplace due to environmental stimuli, including certain lights, sounds, and smells. As an employer, you can do things to help make your workplace more welcoming and accessible: 
    • Installing light switches that give users the ability to control the brightness within a space 
    • Creating or designating a particular location as a quiet space 
    • Providing furniture with kinetic movements such as rockers and swings 
    • Permitting the use of providing employees with noise-canceling headphones to reduce distractions  
    • Installing acoustic dampening or sound-proofing materials around loud equipment or noisy areas 
    • Investing in modular, adjustable furniture, such as ergonomic chairs and standing desks

For more information on Universal Design, here are a few other articles to check out:  


Create an Inclusive Hiring Process

  • Use plain and clear language in crafting and marketing a position description. 
    • Market and advertise the inclusive culture of your organization. 
  • Provide an overview of the hiring process and timeline.  
  • Offer options and performance tasks to assess candidates’ skills, such as through written/technical projects. 
    • This is a great way to get a real sense of how they would work and what they can produce. 
  • Offer accommodations to all candidates (not just the ones with autism!)
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