National Autistic Society – Autism at Work Summit

Leading the way to a neurodiverse workforce

In March 2021, the Autism at Work Summit will bring together organisations that are committed to changing the employment landscape for autistic people. Organised by the National Autistic Society, this two-day conference is an opportunity for employers to hear from autistic people and the businesses successfully employing them.

With only 16% of autistic people currently in full-time employment, events like this are essential.

COVID-19 restrictions meant the event could not go ahead in its original form, so we stepped in with a grant of £13,170 to fund moving it online. Not only does this mean the Summit will still happen, being online opens up the event to people who aren’t able to travel to a busy city, due to sensory challenges or other concerns, as well as making it accessible to businesses and individuals from across the world.

The event will be livestreamed and include pre-recorded sessions, breakout rooms and online networking.

Leading employers from all industries will be represented – from gaming to banking, media to insurance, and law to technology. Attendees will benefit from expert opinions on topics such as recruiting autistic talent and creating an autism friendly workspace. They’ll hear first hand about the unique issues affecting autistic people and how businesses can adapt and support them.

Employers can discover new ways of enabling autistic people to get their voices and choices heard and have the opportunity to network with other professionals and experts.

  • Across the UK, only 16% of autistic people are in full-time employment.
  • A YouGov poll found that 68% of senior decision makers in business worry about getting the support for an autistic employee wrong.
  • 64% of decision makers said they did not know where to go for support and advice.

Autism at Work programme

The National Autistic Society is a UK charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. Since 1962, they have been providing support, guidance and advice, as well as campaigning for improved rights, services and opportunities to help create a society that works for autistic people.

The charity runs the Autism at Work programme, which aims to bridge the gap between skills shortages in industry and autistic jobseekers. They support applicants through the recruitment process and work with successful candidates to prepare for and succeed in their employment.

“I hope that people will come away from the Autism at Work Summit thinking ‘Wow, there’s this whole group of people I never thought could be part of my organisation that I can now reach out to’.”
Helen Ellis, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, National Autistic Society

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