LOS ANGELES – October 22, 2019: Autism Speaks, Best Buddies and Special Olympics, in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), are announcing the launch of Delivering Jobs, an inclusion campaign designed to create pathways to one million employment and leadership opportunities for people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental differences by 2025.
Utilizing the combined resources and expertise of Autism Speaks, Best Buddies and Special Olympics, Delivering Jobs will: Equip people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences with the resources to prepare for employment and leadership opportunities;Motivate employers to hire, support and promote diverse and inclusive workforces; Engage the public to increase awareness about the low rate of employment for people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences and challenge the public to advocate for inclusion and equality.
Research from the Harvard Business Review shows that employing people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences leads to positive business impacts, including better morale and improved products, services and bottom lines. Similarly, study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) found that compared to five years ago, companies are increasingly likely to say that employing persons with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences enhances their brand and makes their culture more attractive to desired talent pools.
Despite this trend, 81% of adults with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences in the U.S. do not have a paid job in their community (National Core Indicators).
“We’re battling a widespread perception issue and knowledge gap. People with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences are smart, productive and resourceful, but many companies fail to recognize their potential, or don’t know how to hire and train these qualified candidates. We’re committed to tackling this urgent challenge in partnership with Autism Speaks, Best Buddies and Special Olympics, and we urge companies of all sizes to join us.”
Delivering Jobs is challenging all businesses to identify ways they can incorporate this untapped workforce into their diversity and inclusion plans; ensure that persons with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences have access to a minimum of 1% of employment and leadership opportunities; and empower HR personnel to invest in the long-term success of all employees.
To take the #DeliveringJobs pledge, companies can visit DeliveringJobs.org. The site also features resources for prospective employees and employers, including employment toolkits, an accessibility checklist, case studies and more.
“These job candidates and employees can add tremendous value to any workplace, tackling problems with unique perspective and tenacity,” said Autism Speaks President and CEO Angela Geiger. “We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact of inclusive employment on businesses of all sizes, and through this campaign, we hope to facilitate and normalize the recruitment and management practices, providing the resources for these workers to thrive.”
“It’s easy to take employment opportunities for granted, but for people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences, having a job is life changing. Plus, it improves the bottom line for business small and large every day,” said Anthony Shriver, founder, chairman & CEO, Best Buddies. “Being able to contribute to your community is a key component of independence, and through this campaign, we’re committed to creating as many opportunities for leadership and employment as possible.”
“Diversity and inclusion frameworks often fall short for people with intellectual differences,” said Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics. “The organizations involved in Delivering Jobs have deep expertise of preparing people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences for success in the workplace. Now is the time for the private sector to do their part. The next generation to join the workforce is expecting inclusion, and Delivering Jobs is here to help eliminate biases and create pathways to employment for this overlooked population.”
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. To find resources, join an event or make a donation, go to www.AutismSpeaks.org. Learn more by following @AutismSpeaks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, IKEA Foundation, the Lane Family, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.