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EPLI: Giving Individuals With Autism a Chance at Employment

EPLI Giving Individuals With Autism a Chance at EmploymentAs a San Francisco employer, you have a lot of considerations to make when it comes to hiring the right candidates; are they the right fit for the position? Do they have the appropriate experience? Do their needs meet your own? When making these decisions, employers must tread carefully in order to avoid San Francisco EPLI (Employment Practices Liability Insurance) claims.

One of the most common reasons for EPLI claims is accusations of discrimination. This is a topic that those with disabilities are all too familiar with, including individuals who are on the autism spectrum. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that there has been a 30% increase in the rate of autism over the past two years. While this may not necessarily mean that there has been a dramatic increase in the condition, it does mean that autism is more recognizable now and easier to diagnose.

The good news is, programs are being developed that help to match those on the autism spectrum with appropriate jobs and careers. For example, human resources professional Jason Kippen recently opened Spectrum Employment Services, an Albany-based firm focused on this mission. The program is based off a similar employment matching service based in Denmark.

The point of the program is to connect adults on the autism spectrum who have training in science, technology, engineering, and math with employers. For example, Kippen is currently working with an adult who graduated from University at Albany with a computer science degree and a 3.2 GPA, however hasn’t been able to find employment in his field. In fact, he is currently stocking shelves at Wal-Mart.

Janine Kruiswijk, executive director of the Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region, states that approximately 85% of adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed or under-employed. According to Kruiswijk, “We have highly skilled adults in our community who are not able to utilize these skills the way they should.”

Employers are encouraged to understand that individuals on the autism spectrum are bright, and they want to work and do their work well. Autism service advocates point out that those on the autism spectrum are more than willing to learn, and they can learn enough to help them integrate successfully into the workplace.

Spectrum Employment aims to get in front of as many HR professionals as possible to publicize their services and the benefits. They’ll be offering placement to clients and labor relations for employers. The Kippen family is touched by autism themselves’ having a 10-year-old son who is a math whiz and honor roll recipient. They are aware that autism benefits often end after the age of 21, when they may be most needed. Spectrum Employment aims to provide meaningful work to highly-skilled people.

At DiNicola, we understand the liability insurance risks faced by employers in various industries. To learn more about our products and services, please contact us today at (855) 247-1912.

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