For Some Jobs, Asperger’s Syndrome Can Be An Asset

Statistics on the unemployed have been dominating the news for months.

And while the current portrait of the jobless might seem dire, consider this: According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 20 percent of the disabled population in the country has work.

But Aspiritech, a nonprofit in the suburbs of Chicago, is trying to help improve the job outlook for people with Asperger’s and high-functioning autism.

The company trains people in data entry and computer program testing — skills that come naturally to many with the disorder.

via For Some Jobs, Asperger’s Syndrome Can Be An Asset : NPR.

Nat-of-all-Trades: An Autism Job Story

“When our kids have disabilities, on the one hand we believe that fantasy, dreams, and plans are no longer possible,” Susan Senator writes in her September 30, 2009 blog post, “My FaNATasy.”

Susan is a writer and mother to three boys, including Nat, 19, who has autism. She uses her writing talents “to make sense of autism and find a way to my oldest son, and help others with this challenge of autism at the same time.”

via Nat-of-all-Trades: An Autism Job Story-

Thorkil Sonne, CEO and Founder of Specialisterne

After his son Lars was diagnosed with autism in the late 1990s, Thorkil Sonne had an epiphany. Autistics tend to have poor social skills and difficulty responding to stress or changes, which makes finding work a challenge (one study suggests that only 6 percent of autistic adults have full-time employment). But Sonne realized that they also tend to be methodical, possess excellent memories, and show great attention to detail and tolerance for repetition—in other words, they might make excellent software testers.

via Brave Thinkers – The Atlantic (November 2009).

Glimmer Of Hope In Jobs Report For People With Disabilities

For the first time in four months, unemployment among people with disabilities dropped slightly in September, the Labor Department said Friday.

The hint of positive job news comes on the heals of President Barack Obama proclaiming October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Unemployment among people with disabilities fell slightly to 16.2 percent in September, down from a record high of 16.9 percent in August. Meanwhile, unemployment for the rest of the population hit 9.2 percent, down slightly from 9.3 percent in August. These numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

via Glimmer Of Hope In Jobs Report For People With Disabilities – Disability Scoop.