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Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People
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Strengthening Employment Opportunities for Autistic People

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A presentation at the Dharma Bums Brownbag sponsored by the Adult Education and Workforce Education & Development academic program at Penn State University …

A presentation at the Dharma Bums Brownbag sponsored by the Adult Education and Workforce Education & Development academic program at Penn State University
Scott Michael Robertson, MHCI
Ph.D. Candidate (ABD), Information Sciences and Technology
srobertson@ist.psu.edu | srobertson@autisticadvocacy.org
Co-Founder & Vice Chair, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) Council Member, Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council Member,
U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)

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  • 1. Strengthening Employment Opportunities forAutistic PeopleDharma Bums Brownbag | Jan. 18, 2013Scott Michael Robertson, MHCIPh.D. Candidate (ABD), Information Sciences and Technologysrobertson@ist.psu.edu | srobertson@autisticadvocacy.orgCo-Founder & Vice Chair, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network(ASAN)Council Member, Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities CouncilMember, U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
  • 2. Can you name this event?
  • 3. Lives Worth Living Documentary that aired on PBS’ Independent Lens series in Fall & Winter 2011 Chronicles the history of the disability rights movement from the 1960s through the 1990s Profiles the work of several key disability rights leaders (e.g., Judy Heumann, Ed Roberts, Justin Dart, Fred Fay, Judi Chamberlain, Patrisha Wright, Bob Kafka, Michael Winter, etc.) Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlXm9NJDacM Story Line Pictures (the film maker) is selling a DVD for $15 at <http://www.storylinemotionpictures.com/PurchaseHome.htm Will likely soon be available on iTunes for less money (probably $3- $5 rental; $10-$15 purchase)
  • 4. Some Notes on Language Usage:Identity-First Language for Autism The Autistic Self-Advocacy & Allied community often prefer identity-first language (e.g., autistic people) over person-first language (e.g., people with autism) to refer to autistic adults & youth (all persons carrying an autism spectrum identification)  Reflects the view that autism forms part of the Autistic Community of Israel human identity & way of being of autistic people  Draws from the blind & Deaf communities & cultures [blind, deaf people]  Sometimes we use bridging terms (e.g., people on the autism spectrum) to refer to autistic people
  • 5. Some Notes on Language Usage:Functional Language & Autism The phrases “high-functioning” (HF) and “low- www.neuro-typical.com functioning” (LF) appear widely in written & spoken discourse to describe autistic people HF & LF reflect a false dichotomy  Autism is a far more diverse neurological- developmental disability than these grading levels indicate  Dichotomy not supported by research  Functioning is always contextual & situational HF/LF use can be disrespectful of autistic people  HF->minimizes barriers, challenges, difficulties  LF->minimizes gifts, talents, abilities
  • 6. Grading Peoplehttp://vimeo.com/129018839-minute video produced by an autistic rights advocate to highlight problems w/ the usage of the terms “high functioning” and “low-functioning” to grade autistic adults & youthDescribes broader history of grading people w/ disabilities (including usage to characterize people w/ intellectual & developmental disabilities)
  • 7. Two New Natl. Centers on Employmentfor People w/ DisabilitiesFunded by grants from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)ASAN serves as a partner and sub-grantee on both grants1. National Disability Institute’s National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAP)2. RESNA’s Accessible Technology Action Center (ATEC)
  • 8. 1. National Disability Institute’sLEAP CenterConducts policy and research initiatives to improve employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilitiesTranslates emerging and successful employment solutions identified through demonstration projects and research into policy and practiceAssists ODEP’s work to encourage innovative practices and facilitate their implementation at the workforce system and individual levels
  • 9. 2. RESNA’s ATEC CenterFacilitates and promotes use of accessible technologies to hire, employ, retain, and advance career opportunities of people with disabilitiesPromotes knowledge, technical skills, tools, and leadership issues to address accessibility issuesSeeks to expand access to information and communication technologies used by people with disabilities in the workplaceRaises awareness of the impact that critical accessible workplace technologies have on competitive employment opportunities
  • 10. New Book on Employment forAutistic People Under DevelopmentASAN plans to publish in 2013 a new book on employment for autistic adultsThe new book will carry the title of An Autistic View of Employment
  • 11. ASAN’s Technical Assistance onEmploymentASAN provides technical assistance to companies to help them hire autistic employeesSince 2011, ASAN has partnered with Freddie Mac to help them hire autistic internsASAN has begun to forge ties with other companies on how to hire and support autistic employees
  • 12. Improving Self-Determination forPeople with DisabilitiesResearch has shown that self-determined people withintellectual and developmental disabilities fair better inintegrated employment. They earn better wages and haveaccess to greater work hours.How can we improve the self-determination of autisticyouth and adults living here in the State College area?How can we improve the self-determination of autisticyouth and adults living in other areas?
  • 13. Postsecondary Transition forYouth and Adults with DisabilitiesThe Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of2004 mandates that students with disabilities receiveappropriate services to plan for postsecondary transitionstarting at age 16 or younger. (PA has a mandatory startingage of 14.) Recent research reports by the Institute forEducational Science indicate that transition services havenot effectively improved employment outcomes for peoplewith disabilities.How can we bolster our transition services to improveemployment outcomes for autistic adults here in StateCollege and in other places?What new ideas should we consider to improvetransition for autistic adults?
  • 14. Assistive Technologies to EnhanceEmployment OutcomesPeople with disabilities who have access to needed low-techand high-tech assistive technologies (AT) fare better in lifeoutcomes. They experience greater access to communityliving, higher education, and employment.How can we improve access to and usage of AT (low-techand high-tech) by autistic adults?What AT can we employ to strengthen access to integratedemployment for autistic people?What new possibilities should we consider when we thinkof autistic adults’ use of low-tech and high-tech AT?

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