The Albanese Labor Government is committed to supporting Autistic Australians and improving their employment outcomes by investing in the Autism Co-operative Research Centre.
Autism CRC has today launched new and improved resources with the backing of the Commonwealth to support autistic people into employment.
Autism CRC launched an improved version of their myWAY Employability. In addition, the new Self-Advocacy@Work online resource package will be available to users from November. These add to the range of resources developed by Autism CRC intended to build neurodiversity-inclusive employment understanding and capacity, for the benefit of both employees and employers.
The Government has supported these employment resources, along with other activities to build and improve the capacity of mainstream providers in the health and education sectors to better engage with people with disability.
myWAY Employability supports Autistic people to map out and achieve their employment goals, communicate and champion their needs and strengths in the workplace, and engage successfully with employers and services providers.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said improving pathways into employment was a key part of supporting the hundreds of thousands of Autistic Australians.
An estimated 1 in 70 Australians are on the Autism spectrum.
“Autistic people in our country are currently around seven times more likely to be unemployed than people without disability,” Minister Rishworth said.
“We are committed to dismantling the barriers Autistic people face to accessing meaningful and sustained employment and creating inclusive workplaces.
“The Government is proud to support Autism CRC to deliver evidence-based resources to support autistic people to map out and achieve their employment goals, communicate and champion their needs and strengths in the workplace, and engage successfully with employers and service providers,” Minister Rishworth said.
The Government is investing $4 million in Autism CRC until the end of 2024 to provide continued support in developing the National Autism Strategy and to build the capacity of mainstream services through its evidence-based resources such as myWAY Employability.
This is part of broader work to drive inclusive education, increase the number of neurodiversity-inclusive Australian workplaces, and to expand and integrate inclusion and employability models.
The myWAY Employability web app has helped over 4,500 registered users to create a personalised career roadmap and convene a support team to help them achieve their goals. The enhanced version launched today will make exploration of career choices and team collaboration in the app even easier.
The Self-Advocacy@Work online resource package includes a series of accessible multimedia tools and resources designed to equip and empower Autistic individuals to better advocate for themselves in the workplace. This resources package was developed in collaboration with the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network of Australia and New Zealand.
Autism CRC CEO Andrew Davis said the resources provide tailored support for thousands of Autistic Australians on their individual career, education and training pathways.
“These are important tools for Autistic people to determine and guide their own paths to successful and sustained participation in the workforce, and we’re grateful for the Government’s support.”
Minister Rishworth said through initiatives like those launched today by Autism CRC, backed by our upcoming National Autism Strategy, the Government is supporting and empowering Autistic Australians to realise their employment and life goals.
“The National Autism Strategy will for the first time create a coordinated, national approach to supporting Autistic people at each stage of their lives,” Minister Rishworth said.
“Public consultation on the Strategy is open until 30 October and I encourage anyone with lived experience of Autism to have your say and help shape a Strategy that meets the real needs of autistic people and of the families and sector who support them.”
Beyond this consultation, there will also be future opportunities to provide feedback on the draft Strategy, which will be released for public comment.
Information on the National Autism Strategy and how to take part in the consultation is available on the DSS Engage website.
The myWAY Employability web portal and Autism CRC’s other employment resources can be accessed through the Autism CRC website.