When we think of diversity and inclusion today, we can quickly default to framing the discussion around race and gender. However, diversity applies to all manner of individual and group differences that are often ignored or misunderstood when we confine the issue to race or gender.
Take for example what we learn when autism is centered in how we think of diversity and inclusion. According to the National Autistic Society, just 22% of autistic adults are employed in full-time paid work. While employment—particularly full-time—is not appropriate or desirable for all autistic individuals, this number still lags abnormally behind employment rates for disabled people in general (52%) and the population at-large (80%). Limiting our view of diversity and inclusion to race or gender would never reveal such an urgent blindspot.
This disparity shines a light on the fact that autistic individuals have many skills to offer, but they are often—and obviously—misunderstood and stigmatized. As a result, employers are willfully missing the value of these special employees who can provide a wholly different, often very beneficial and insightful perspective.
Read more at: the Forbes webpage