Manual helps employers create inclusive workplaces

3 Jun 2021

We’re excited to announce the release of The Integrated Employment Success Tool: An evidence-based guide for autistic adults (IEST), which aims to improve employer confidence, employee productivity, job retention and the overall workplace success of autistic people. Developed specifically for employers, the practical workplace manual is free to access and can be used across a variety of work environments.

Register to access the IEST

Autistic adults are often subject to unemployment, under-employment and social disadvantage. Skilled employment can be difficult to find and hard to retain, despite individuals being capable and motivated. According to ABS 2018 data more than one third of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed. This is more than three times the rate for people with disability and almost eight times the rate for people without disability. 

“Autistic employees have diverse skills, strengths and interests that enable them to be successful in a variety of roles. The IEST empowers employers with the skills and confidence to make changes in the workplace to make it inclusive, bringing benefits to all employees and companies as a whole,” said Professor Sonya Girdler from Curtin University and Program Director of Autism CRC’s Adulthood Program.  

The IEST provides employers with information about: 

  • autism and the strengths of autistic employees 
  • the benefits of employing autistic individuals 
  • the employment process and important factors for successful employment 
  • strategies to implement workplace modifications 
  • a range of resources, including editable checklists and templates. 

The manual is presented according to the phases of employment starting at advertising the job, through to the interview process, job commencement, workplace modification and how to maintain ongoing support. Each phase includes information on specific workplace requirements, tips and advice, questions to consider, and checklists. 

Autism CRC research to explore the key factors for successful employment from both the viewpoints of autistic adults and employers found that there are three main factors for successful employment: workplace support; job expectations; and productivity requirements. Both groups agreed on each factor; however, each group had a different perspective. It is hoped that the IEST will assist in closing the gap between these perspectives to ensure successful employment.

Research suggests that the strategies presented in the IEST will benefit more than just the people who disclose their autism. 

As one employer who trialled the IEST said, “...the IEST provided good overall information but we also realised that it cannot be designed for a specific industry, so we needed to consider which of the recommendations/guidelines in the IEST suited us. … The fact is, after doing this, we improved our recruitment and interview process for all employees.” 

Register to access the IESTWatch the webinarSee the project page