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Top companies to hold virtual job fair for people with autism

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 4:59 PDT, Fri March 26, 2021

Richmond-based Autism BC is among the B.C. companies who have committed to participating in a unique virtual job fair next month.

On April 8, some of Canada’s top employers and community support groups will be coming together for the national Spectrum Works Job Fair to help people with autism find meaningful work. It’s especially important given that there are some 75,000 people in B.C. with autism. 

“Hosting a virtual event allows us to reach more communities across the country. It also means we can mitigate in-person crowds and situations that may be stressful for folks who experience social anxiety or sensory overload,” says Neil Forester, co-owner of Substance Cares, the Toronto-based charitable foundation that organizes the annual job fair.

This year’s event brings together recruiters and hiring managers from major companies including TD, Rogers, Compugen, Salesforce, Auticon, IBM and more. Participants can sign up for interviews for various open positions and have access to job skill workshops, resume and employment consulting and community service provider consultations.

According to Autism Speaks Canada (ASC), the co-sponsor of the event, the 2012 Canadian Survey on Disability found that autistic adults have the lowest employment rates in Canada at 14.3 per cent compared to the general population at 92.7 per cent. 

· The median annual employment income for individuals with autism was $2,900 (Lai, Dunn and Zwicker, 2017)

·  Competitive employment, supported employment, volunteer work and purposeful daytime activity all provide structure and community integration which can enhance one’s quality of life.

·  Employment can be a critical component for most adults to build full and productive lives.

·  Autism is the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopment disorder.

Registration is available online at SpectrumWorks.ca.

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