2019 NCWIT Summit: Ilia Walsh – Autism in the Workplace

During the 2019 NCWIT Summit, we sat down with several plenary speakers, workshop presenters, and other change leaders from the NCWIT community to discuss their perspectives on valuing diversity, changing systems (as opposed to “fixing” underrepresented individuals), recognizing bias, and more. The end result was a series of short videos that not only captures what drives these change leaders in their inclusion efforts, but also highlights research-based recommendations from the vast collection of NCWIT resources.

In this video, Ilia Walsh discusses the challenges people with autism face when it comes to  employment and workplace culture. Noting that “70 to 80 percent of our community is underemployed or unemployed,” she asks people to consider how we can better leverage this community’s many strengths and assets. To explore this topic in greater depth, check out her video training Understanding Students with Asperger Syndrome and Related Conditions with Ilia and Ryan Walsh, produced by the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE).


ILIA WALSH: Autism in general in the workplace is important to me because 70 to 80 percent of our community is underemployed or unemployed. All of those children that were diagnosed are now becoming adults. And I was just reading a statistic, it’s like 500,000 young, well I say teens, but now they’ll be young adults, are coming of age in the next few years. So how do we support them, you know, and how do we all work with this other population so that they can, their strengths can be leveraged, and they can feel independent, you know, and build a meaningful life?

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