Argyros School Professors Cristina Giannantonio and Amy Hurley-Hanson, with Professor Amy Jane Griffiths of the Attallah College of Educational Studies, have published a book entitled Autism in the Workplace: Creating Positive Employment and Career Outcomes for Generation A. This book introduces the term “Generation A” which refers to the roughly 500,000 young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are expected to enter the workforce in the current decade. With Generation A expected to enter the workforce in unprecedented numbers, organizations and educational institutions need to work together to create successful work experiences and career outcomes for individuals with ASD. The book was published by Palgrave Macmillan and is part of the Palgrave Explorations in Workplace Stigma series. This series is dedicated to increasing awareness of the challenges faced by stigmatized individuals in the workplace. This book examines the stigma of autism and its effect on individuals, their families and caregivers.
The book also explores the career experiences of Generation A. Issues surrounding ASD in the workplace are discussed from individual, organizational and societal perspectives. This timely book provides researchers, employers and advocacy groups with empirical data that examines the work and career experiences of individuals with ASD. The book highlights the benefits of hiring employees with autism and offers an implementation model to assist organizations committed to hiring individuals with ASD and enhancing their work experiences and career outcomes now and in the future.
As part of their research, they organized a symposium and a professional development workshop on ASD in the workplace at the 2019 Academy of Management Annual Meetings. These events featured leading academics from top universities and the CEO of Specialisterne. Specialisterne is a Danish not-for-profit company that utilizes and empowers the abilities of those with ASD, such as attention to detail, honesty, loyalty and accuracy, rather than the “disabilities” too often associated with ASD.
Autism in the Workplace fills a gap in the workplace disability literature for both academics and practitioners. Human Resource professionals and organizational leaders will find the book useful for developing and implementing neurodiversity initiatives. Multiple resources exist for organizations looking to include individuals with autism in their workplace. The authors suggest that companies explore diversity initiatives developed by other organizations, develop partnerships with universities and community colleges and connect with autism support agencies to understand the employment needs of the autism community.
Congratulations to Dr. Giannantonio, Dr. Hurley-Hanson and Dr. Griffiths on publishing this important work, we look forward to celebrating its launch soon!