The employment statistics for autistic individuals in British Columbia make for depressing reading. It’s estimated that of the 50,000 adults diagnosed as being somewhere on the autism spectrum, 80% are either unemployed, or underemployed, meaning that they’re in work that doesn’t match their qualifications, skills and experience.
There are several reasons for these dismal autism employment numbers. Firstly, there is still widespread negativity held towards autistic individuals, both consciously and subconsciously, despite an increase in autism awareness programming. Secondly, there is a general assumption that all autistic adults are incapable of coping with a neurotypical workplace without extensive support; this couldn’t be further from the truth as there are many ways for autistic workers of all support levels to find success in the workplace. Finally, nearly all job hiring processes are heavily biased towards neurotypical individuals, from the job advert through to the face to face interview.