Employment and the Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Path to Community Employment

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The Path to Employment includes the activities, experiences, supports and decisions utilized to achieve meaningful employment. The Path to Employment begins with the assumption that all people can work.

Meaningful work has significant benefits for all working age adults, including people with developmental disabilities. People with developmental disabilities have the right to make informed decisions about where they work, and to have opportunities to obtain community jobs that result in greater earnings, better benefits, improved health and enhanced quality of life. In addition, meaningful employment offers individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to bolster self-esteem, expand their network of natural supports, make friends, and demonstrate their professional abilities in a public setting. These benefits all contribute to the diversity of our workforce and enrichment of our community.

– excerpt from Ohio Employment First Task Force Common Principles

Sondra Williams, author, speaker, and mentor for youth with autism, gave a Lunch Keynote entitled Reflections of Self, during the 2013 Employment First Conference, Williams was presented with a Courage Award for 2013 by Ohio Governor John Kasich. Watch her inspirational story and the role meaningful employment has played in her life.

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