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    The Premier AT Conference

WorkingWell 2.0: Assistive Technology for Autistic Employees

Description
WorkingWell, an assistive technology approach (i.e., mobile phone application) embracing principles from evidence-based supported employment models, may offer an ideal suite of resources for meeting the needs of autistic people in the workplace. Research has tied employment to positive life outcomes and general wellbeing, but disabled people continue to have lower workforce participation and higher rates of unemployment than non-disabled people. Furthermore, there is evidence that un- and under-employment may be particularly pronounced for autistic people compared to disabled people overall. Many of the existing interventions to promote the employment of autistic people are highly job-specific, tied to vocational services, or solely focused on the recruitment and hiring process. These initiatives rarely support sustained employment or advancing career trajectory, and are not necessarily reflective of autistic people‚Äôs self-reported employment goals or work satisfaction. The longstanding nature of employment disparities for autistic people and the limited success of existing solutions suggest a need for new and innovative approaches. WorkingWell offers a tool that can be used by autistic employees and their employers, regardless of type of employment or availability of in-person vocational rehabilitation services. In this session, we will describe the WorkingWell technology-based approach, provide findings from our extensive interviews, outline WorkingWell components adapted for the autistic individual, and make recommendations for additional tools and resources for non-autistic managers and supervisors working together with autistic employees. Additionally, we will highlight the ways that we were able to draw on social science methodologies and direct engagement with autistic people in order to better understand the problems we hope to address and develop innovative approaches to longstanding employment disparities.  
Audience
  • Disability Specific
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Research & Development
  • Employment & Human Resources
Audience Level
Intermediate  
Session Summary (Abstract)
WorkingWell 2.0 is an assistive technology (i.e., mobile app) that utilizes principles from evidence-based supported employment models. It offers a suite of resources to help meet the needs of autistic people in the workplace, with a focus on fostering collaboration with co-workers and managers.  
Session Type
General Track  
Topics
  • Cognitive & Learning Disabilities
  • Employment & Workplace
  • Mobile Technology
  • Research

Presenters

  • Spenser Wright
    University of Colorado Denver & Brandeis University
  • Ian Moura
    Brandeis University

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