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Employment & Autism Initiative If not now then when…… Autism Society of Minnesota Employment & Autism Initiative If not now then when…… Autism Society of Minnesota

Outline What is Autism Why Employment Overall Grant Objectives Timeline of grant and milestones Outline What is Autism Why Employment Overall Grant Objectives Timeline of grant and milestones Visual of what the goals ultimately will drive Who is the Autism Society of MN – Au. SM Next Steps Autism Society of Minnesota

What is Autism? Autism or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a complex developmental disorder What is Autism? Autism or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a complex developmental disorder that is present from birth or very early in development. Autism is a developmental disability that is diagnosed based on three areas of disorder: - Impairment in social interaction - Impairment in communication - Resistance to change, restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. Autism Society of Minnesota

What is important to understand? Social Interactions: Difficulty with Communication: Difficulty reading nonverbal cues What is important to understand? Social Interactions: Difficulty with Communication: Difficulty reading nonverbal cues • Delay in development of speech Less likely to look at other people’s • Lack of functional speech faces Difficulty initiating and maintaining interaction Difficulty maintaining joint attention Difficulty repairing social breakdowns • Echolalia • Unusual rhythm, pitch, or other voice qualities • Limited functions of language • Poor ability to initiate and maintain conversation • Difficulty with gestures • Difficulty with pretense or speculation • Concrete or idiosyncratic language • Lack of emotional expression • Inappropriate emotional expression Autism Society of Minnesota

 Is there more to know? Resistance to change: Insistence on specific routines Everything Is there more to know? Resistance to change: Insistence on specific routines Everything in its place Difficulty coping with uncertainty Unwillingness to engage in others’ interest or activities Unusual knowledge about a limited topic Repetitive motor mannerisms Flapping, twisting, etc. Preference for rocking or other repetitive motions Sensory Processing Abnormalities Autism Society of Minnesota It is a puzzle?

Reality… Individuals with Autism rarely Lie They live in black and white terms. To Reality… Individuals with Autism rarely Lie They live in black and white terms. To them, truth is truth. People on the Autism Spectrum Live in the Moment How often do typical people fail to notice what's in front of their eyes because they're distracted by social cues or random chitchat? People with Autism Rarely Judge Others Social distinctions hold much less importance. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances to discover the real person. Individuals with Autism are Passionate Many are truly passionate about the things, ideas and people in their lives. People with Autism Are Not Tied to Social Expectations They want to be treated normal, of course this means you must define normal. What matters is being treated with respect and kindness. People with Autism Have Terrific Memories They may have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kind of critical details. Autistic People Are Less Materialistic They worry less about brand names, hairstyles and other expensive but unimportant externals than most people do. Individuals with Autism Have Fewer Hidden Agendas Most of the time, if a person on the autism spectrum tells you what he wants -- he is telling you what he wants. No need to beat around the bush, second guess, and hope you're reading between the line. Just say it like it is! People with Autism Open New Doors for neuro-typicals For some having an autistic person in our lives had a profound positive impact on our perceptions, beliefs and expectations. …from a lifetime of "should" – to a new world of "is. Autism Society of Minnesota

How ready are you? 1 in 110 12, 000 families in Minnesota affected by How ready are you? 1 in 110 12, 000 families in Minnesota affected by ASD 13, 000 children diagnosed with autism Age 8 is largest population Every 20 seconds someone is diagnosed with autism Only 3% of our aging population is employed fulltime Autism Society of Minnesota

Why hire a person with ASD? Innovative Compliance Detail-oriented Fear of the unknown Honest Why hire a person with ASD? Innovative Compliance Detail-oriented Fear of the unknown Honest Time and effort Loyal Employee engagement Productivity Diversity Autism Society of Minnesota

Phase 1 Research Study Goal • The goal of the research study is to Phase 1 Research Study Goal • The goal of the research study is to better understand document the needs, requirements, and expectations, of people with autism spectrum disorder and businesses. • This information will aid in the identification and expansion of employment opportunities for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Society of Minnesota

Stakeholders Interviewed People with ASD (at least 14 years of age) and their family Stakeholders Interviewed People with ASD (at least 14 years of age) and their family members Business representatives Vocational Rehabilitation Services personnel Educators (secondary & postsecondary) Consultants Autism Society of Minnesota

Findings – Business (16) • We had very positive response from businesses. Businesses say Findings – Business (16) • We had very positive response from businesses. Businesses say they are willing to consider participating in a pilot and at some point hiring persons with ASD, they think that it may be a good business decision. • In general, there is a fear of the unknown because businesses have little experience employing persons with autism spectrum disorder. • Businesses say to get started they will need significant training and support on all aspects of autism spectrum disorder. • Businesses stress the importance of applicants having previous paid work experience. • Business representatives describe the importance of teaching all students 21 stcentury skills ( IT literacy, proficiency using digital devices and PDAs to access, manage, integrate, evaluate and create information to successfully function in a knowledge economy). • Businesses in many industries require or strongly prefer that applicants have a degree. Autism Society of Minnesota

Findings – Families & Individuals (26) (21) • Individuals and family members demonstrate a Findings – Families & Individuals (26) (21) • Individuals and family members demonstrate a genuine desire to achieve and sustain paid employment at a living wage within a wide range of technology and digital arts fields. • Students and adults want to work and be included in all aspects of citizenship – be accepted as a regular individual – not labeled. • Some families are desperate to get their family member employed and are starting businesses to support getting individuals employed and sustaining their employment. • Interviewees say that IEP and transition don’t adequately help students prepare for work and get jobs. Too much focus is on academics and living skills. Need earlier and additional focus on employment goals. • Individuals with ASD and their families do not appear to understand how to best access and utilize the services of Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Autism Society of Minnesota

Findings – Families & Individuals (Continued) Quotes: • “I want to get a job Findings – Families & Individuals (Continued) Quotes: • “I want to get a job like everyone else; I want to get married have a husband kids and have a home of my own”. • “There is nothing wrong with me, I just think differently than some people”. • “If I get an interview, I’ll get a job”. • “I have a great memory; my parents don’t even use the phone book anymore, it is too slow, they just ask me and I give them an instant answer”. • “If I am driven somewhere I don’t need a map or GPS to get back home; I know the route exactly”. • Individuals with ASD and their family members express that employers, coworkers, non special ed. teachers, and other students do not adequately understand ASD and it’s effects on relationships, information processing, and communication. Autism Society of Minnesota

Findings – Education & Consultants (16) • “I learn best by electronic means; not Findings – Education & Consultants (16) • “I learn best by electronic means; not the regular class room; too much noise and people talking too fast”. • Most public education schools and special education teachers express frustration with the current system. They feel that more needs to be done to help them help the students be prepared for work and post secondary education; learn acceptable coping skills and have work experience prior to graduation. • Professor Frank R Rusch “Students must have 3 paid jobs before they graduate or they won’t get employed” • Most special education teachers expressed frustration with the “ownership” attitude of non- special education teachers and administration staff. They feel that there should be a fully integrated attitude and approach to educating students with disabilities. All teachers and administration should take ownership for all students. • As a deliverable of the research study, an inventory of Minnesota colleges and universities that offer degrees in the areas of IT ( includes software testing), digital arts, and video gaming was created. Autism Society of Minnesota

Phase 3 Tasks Create a new web site section that features 150+ resources Master Phase 3 Tasks Create a new web site section that features 150+ resources Master Communications Group Update two free online courses (Partners in Education and Partners in Employment) to include information about ASD/tech careers Zenmation Find success stories and promote stories through the general media Provide advanced media coverage of the Temple Grandin in February 2011 Wallace Group There are policy issues that need to be addressed for reauthorization of federal laws (Developmental Disabilities Act and Rehab Act) This grant ends on December 31, 2010 Autism Society of Minnesota

Objectives of Grant Goals To improve the infrastructure and build capacity to expand improve Objectives of Grant Goals To improve the infrastructure and build capacity to expand improve the employment outcomes of young adults on the autism spectrum. Traditionally those with ASD have experienced difficulty with job procurement and retention. Au. SM proposes to address this situation by facilitating a round table discussion with a diverse group of employers, educators, service providers, parents, individuals on solutions/strategies specific to address barriers to job entry and retention aligning them with the 8 goals as described in this grant. Short term: strategies/solutions Long term: pilots/workshops/Employment tools Partners: Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Govenor’s Council Developmental Disabilities Autism Society of Minnesota

Goal Objective Outcome Status Goal 1 Convene a Steering Committee Build a diverse team Goal Objective Outcome Status Goal 1 Convene a Steering Committee Build a diverse team who creates strategies that support infrastructure and capacity on employment opportunities Completed Goal 2 Investigate Existing Research local Universities and Completed Computer Camps associated organizations that may provide camp with Universities programs and track how they help with future employment or high education. A summary on the findings. Goal 3 Sponsor Training Events • Dakota County Service Provider 2 day Completed Workshop • Support Group, Discovery Series & Autism Forum. Completed • Autism/Employment Temple Event - 2/17/11 Completed Goal 4 Test current Managers Manual (Employment Guide) Met to define ideal employer, employee (ASD), coworker Autism Society of Minnesota Rewritten

Goal Objective Outcome Status Goal 5 Identify Core Competencies General and for I. T. Goal Objective Outcome Status Goal 5 Identify Core Competencies General and for I. T. roles Gathering data Completed Goal 6 Create a two-way Social Networking Forum Au. SM face-book account inplace, categories captured and will be used for future Employment Guide Completed Goal 7 Establish methods for Direct Hire Practices • Transition programs’ • Placement companies • Voc Rehab best practices • Employment programs on how to change postings, hiring practices, interviewing techniques. Consider adding to Employment guide Completed Goal 8 Investigate Companies to pilot solutions/strategies Determine feasibility VRS 2 nd grant Autism Society of Minnesota

Steering Committee Participants Parents Jenny Pucket Kelly Mc. Laughlin Barbara Luskin Dawn Brasch Grace Steering Committee Participants Parents Jenny Pucket Kelly Mc. Laughlin Barbara Luskin Dawn Brasch Grace Pierce Lu. Ann Quayle Parent Au. SM Consulting Psychologist Au. SM Finance Manager Au. SM Board of Director/Treasurer Au. SM/Parent Employers Corrine Ivie Alex Dietz Larry Walker Larry Decklever Mary. Anne Gay Sam Lewis Susan Larson Teresa Young Sally Lubrant Educators Cynthia Callanan Ellen Mundt Jayne Spain Joyce Santo Laura Gardner Lisa King Louise Goetz Lynn Stansberry John Merges Dora Schumacher Autism District Program Fac Edina School District State of MN Metro SPLISE ASD Networks Dakota County Technical College Autism spectrum Anoka County Univ St. Thomas Special Ed Dept Licensed Social Worker Trio Director Service Providers Skyline Displays Computer Programmer Au. SM Representative Autism Society of Minnesota Bill Harreld Govenor's Council Melva Radtke Colleen Timbers Melissa Kenig. Davis Abbie Wells Herzog MN House of Rep. Merrick Inc Alyssa Klein Individual w/ASD Michael Allen Louis Bouchard Larry Moody 3 M St. Judes - Technology Minnesota Immigrant Bridges Bench Mark QA Dynamics Advanced IS 3 M Best Buy Cargill DEED Youth Transition Specialist Executive Director Autism Works State of MN

Goal Alignment Employers Service Providers Computer Camp Research Direct Hire Methods Identified completed Steering Goal Alignment Employers Service Providers Computer Camp Research Direct Hire Methods Identified completed Steering Committee Social Forum Developed Managers Manual tested Pilot/Workshops/Consulting Working Model Autism Society of Minnesota Individuals w/ASD Educators Parents Educational Events Planned Competency Brochure Development

Goal Alignment December Test & Collect Feedback January February - Ongoing Revisions Enhancemen ts Goal Alignment December Test & Collect Feedback January February - Ongoing Revisions Enhancemen ts -Cargill -Best Buy -3 M -Adults ASD -Phase 1 companies -Dr. Barb’ support group Educational Events PILOT Educational Workshops Voc Rehab Pilot companies Service Provider companies Autism Society of Minnesota Direct Hires

Status: Educational Events Autism Society of Minnesota Status: Educational Events Autism Society of Minnesota

Autism and Employment Forum Held at 3 M on 2/17/11 1, 600 in attendance Autism and Employment Forum Held at 3 M on 2/17/11 1, 600 in attendance Keynote Speaker: Dr. Temple Grandin Co-Founders: 3 M, Cargill, Best Buy Co-Sponsors: Vocational Resource Services and Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Objective: employers talking to employers about hiring and retaining those affected by ASD Outcome: how their gifts and talents help you become the employer of choice…. . Autism Society of Minnesota

Slides from Temple Autism Society of Minnesota Slides from Temple Autism Society of Minnesota

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Autism & Employment Forum Sponsors State ACCESS Group Governor's Council Developmental Disabilities (GDCC) Department Autism & Employment Forum Sponsors State ACCESS Group Governor's Council Developmental Disabilities (GDCC) Department of Human Services The Cooperating Community Programs Johnson-Condon Law Firm Larry Moody - Au. SM Ameriprise Minnesota Dept. of Transportation MN State Council of Disability (MSCOD) TPT (Institution to Independence) HBO (Temple Grandin movie) Autism Works Aveus TSE - Training, Support & Employment Prudential Lifeworks Capella University Opportunity Partners Fraser Sea. Foam The Wallace Group Merrick, Inc. GTS – Government Training Services -Partners in Policy Making MDLC Minnesota Disability Law Center ICI Institute Community Integration MN Life College American Financial Printing, Inc. (AFPI) 3 M - Best Buy Cargill Autism Society of Minnesota

Business Guide Working with your employees strengths Overview of strengths, talents/gifts Overview of learning Business Guide Working with your employees strengths Overview of strengths, talents/gifts Overview of learning styles and challenges of those affected with ASD in the workplace Workplace Supports and Accommodations Recommendations on solutions and strategies for the workplace Hiring Practices need to change Ability to reach candidates Facilitated interviews to attain skill-sets No disclosure / No diagnosis Retention Practices need to change Acclimation practices / don’t assume Utilizing pictures/tools Core Competencies Employers/Co-Workers/Employees with ASD Autism Society of Minnesota

Example of building blocks to successful employment and retention: Use predictable job routines * Example of building blocks to successful employment and retention: Use predictable job routines * Provide “rules” or work policies * Provide details * Clearly define work expectations * Break work down into small tasks * Allow more training time Help facilitate “social interactions” to become apart of the team * Focus on their strengths * Use what is “motivating” to the individual * Don’t forget positive reinforcement * Engage and Involve all on the team enhancing inclusion opportunities Communication = Use direct language * Be as black and white as possible * Include details--don’t assumptions! * Avoid lengthy directional statements * Avoid implied meanings Tools that help = Schedules—picture or written * Visual work instructions * Written instructions * Visual “work system” (i. e. in box“, all done” box, colored folders. * Eliminate sensory overload (lighting, noise, distractions) Autism Society of Minnesota

Who is the Autism Society of MN (Au. SM) Founded in 1971, serving families, Who is the Autism Society of MN (Au. SM) Founded in 1971, serving families, educators and individuals with ASD Our mission: As the local presence of the autism community in MN we have existed to enhance the lives of those living with ASD through education, support, collaboration and advocacy. Our Goals: To inform and educate – families, educators, professionals and the community To advocate for appropriate services and rights Autism Society of Minnesota

 Au. SM Employment Services: Educational workshops: Onsite and customized strategies/solutions to match your Au. SM Employment Services: Educational workshops: Onsite and customized strategies/solutions to match your busines model and specific job functions Designed for Human Resources personnel, Hiring Managers and Diversity Committees to improve internal hiring practices, retention strategies and supports for those with ASD Consulting Services One-on-One sessions with management One on One session with employees Employment Business guide, a quick reference for managers, employees with ASD, co- workers, parents with special needs child/adult. Support Resources Resource directory Mental health clinic Parent supports and training series for those employed and raising a child with a disability Adult programs, supports and resources for those living with ASD Autism Society of Minnesota

What do we offer…. (2010 stats) Member Services Information and Referrals = 4, 000 What do we offer…. (2010 stats) Member Services Information and Referrals = 4, 000 inquiries Parent packets = 300 families Resource Directory and Lending Library Advocacy and Outreach Leaders in mobilizing policy, participation in taskforce and stakeholder groups with our community partners Steps of Hope grants = 23 awarded Numerous events = fundraising / self funded Education and Professional Development Discovery series = 100’s of families Annual State Autism Conference = 674 participants Spectrum Series Classes = 460 community members Lectures and Workshops = 100’s of educators and families Annual Symposium for Educators = 230 attendees Direct Services Mental Health Clinic= 828 assessments Camps = 300 campers Eagles Nest = 86 children Support groups = 350 individuals Autism Society of Minnesota

 Next steps: Working with co founders on the 2012 forum Working with 20 Next steps: Working with co founders on the 2012 forum Working with 20 other companies and service providers on educational needs Holding a workshop on ASD and Employment with VRS, Speaker: James Emmett Employment Business book to be published in 2011 VRS -2 nd grant for employment Establish MN Employment Council Join MN Business Leadership Network Group Autism Society of Minnesota

Thank you! Autism Society of Minnesota Thank you! Autism Society of Minnesota