It’s all too common for people on the spectrum to struggle with getting and holding a job. In fact, people with autism are less likely to be employed than those with other different abilities. This is largely due to struggles with communication and social interactions, difficulties that are inherent to autism.
In a move to help remedy this situation, the car company Ford is partnering up with the Autism Alliance of Michigan to give individuals with ASD a chance at a fulfilling job.
The pilot program they’ve created is called FordInclusiveWorks, the goal of which is to provide on-site job training and paid job experience to individuals with autism. At the end of the 30 to 90 day period, those who do well and want to continue working for Ford will be placed in the typical recruitment process and have an opportunity to be fully employed.
Ford crafted five positions in product development that the program’s participants can work in. The work requires skills that those with autism typically excel at, such as minute attention to detail, strict structure, and intense focus.
The program, which started June 1, doesn’t just benefit people on the spectrum. It also benefits Ford by introducing more diversity into the company. This is important, as people with autism have a different way of looking at the world and can lend their unique perspectives, experiences, and ideas to the company.
The thing about people is, they want to feel important and that they have a purpose in this world. That includes people with ASD. It’s employment initiatives like this that help them get that sense of meaning. Way to go, Ford, and we hope we’ll see more programs like this in the future!
Want to take part in encouraging programs like this? Sign this petition to show your support for the Autism Services and Workforce Acceleration Act.
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.