Professor of Special Education and Counseling, Director, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, Virginia Commonwealth University
Day 1 | 2-3 pm
Keynote: Building a Neurodiverse Workforce: Employers Helping to Unlock the Work Potential of Youth with Autism
Unlocking the work potential of youth by achieving competitive, integrated employment continues to be a challenge facing youth with significant impact from autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A major aspect of successful work for all persons with disabilities is to be employed in a workplace culture that is supportive and accommodative. There are numerous employers who have begun to develop these environments and this presentation will show how a major hospital and also Fortune 100 utility company are doing so with youth with autism. This includes recruiting, hiring, designing supports and retention strategies. In this session, Dr. Paul Wehman will present research on the impact of internships, supported and customized employment on employment outcomes. He will draw on his experience in a series of studies over 4 years building on VCU’s relationship with a number of acute care hospitals in Virginia. As such, Dr. Wehman will share the hiring practices, specifically WHY employers DO or DO NOT hire and/or retain persons with autism.