Autistic people bring a range of strengths, interests and skills to the workforce but face barriers finding, maintaining and engaging in employment.
Employment is an important part of our lives – it provides financial security, social connection, maintains mental health and wellbeing, and builds our self-esteem.
However, for autistic people, the path to employment can be challenging. In Australia, the unemployment rate for autistic people is 31% – almost six times that of people without disability, and three times the rate of people with disability generally.
Autistic people bring unique strengths, skills and talents to the workforce. As we look to a future that is more complex than ever, the genuine diversity of thinking that autistic people offer can drive innovation and create positive, inclusive change in Australia.
Get an insight into the employment experiences of autistic Australians through Spectrospective: Work, a short film sharing real stories from 20 autistic people from all walks of life, at many stages of their careers.
There are many services and programs can assist autistic people to find and keep work.
Services funded by the Australian Government to support people with disability access employment in the open labour market include:
Every workplace in Australia can be more welcoming of autistic people by making these changes – many are low or no-cost.
As part of our Do One Thing for Autism campaign, Amaze has collaborated with Specialisterne Australia to develop nine simple adjustments employers can make to create more inclusive and autism-friendly workplaces.
Discrimination is treating someone unfairly because of a personal characteristic. This includes: during the recruitment process, when determining terms and conditions of employment and when identifying employees for promotion or demotion, transfer, training, retrenchment or dismissal.
Discrimination can take the form of:
In the law, autism is grouped under disability discrimination. In Australia, it is illegal to discriminate against someone because they have, or you think they may have, a disability.
People with disability are protected under three laws:
For more information on autism and employment – including strategies to navigate the workplace’s hidden codes of behaviour and supports and services in Victoria – contact the Amaze Autism Connect advisors on 1300 308 699, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the webchat on this site.
This service is open from 8am–7pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).