Autism @ Work

Challenges and best practices of sustaining and scaling autism employment

Since the early 2000’s, organisations have introduced successful models for identifying, training, and hiring people on the spectrum. Initially, autism employment through the open market has been achieved by small work integration social enterprises (WISEs) specialised in exclusively employing people in the spectrum (such as Specialisterne, Passwerkor Auticon) and hiring them out to for-profit clients. While the work of these organisations has been instrumental in enabling skilled autism employment, employment rates for people on the spectrum remain low. In order to scale autism employment practices and to significantly increase employment rates, a model for successful implementation in large for-profit organisations is needed.

The purpose of this global survey study was to investigate the challenges, learnings and best practices organisations have in sustaining and scaling skilled autism employment.

This study represents the first large scale, global quantitative study in the area and thus an important contribution to the available research evidence in that it provides the opportunity to develop evidence-based conclusions that go beyond single cases and compare different employer types and locations.

Project findings will benefit autistic adults who seek employment by identifying and developing recommendations for effective, sustainable, and scalable autism employment practices/models that are both applicable to a wide range of organisations, and improve the opportunities and workplace outcomes of autistic adults when applying and participating in such programs.

Project code
Project Leader(s)
  • Charmine Hartel, Monash University
  • Anna Krzeminska, Macquarie University
Project status