About // The Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative at RIT
What is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity refers to natural and valuable variations in thinking, brain function, and behavior (such as those attributable to the Autism Spectrum). Such variations impact how one processes information, sees the world, and interacts with people. These unique viewpoints are often highly sought after in the workplace, as organizations look for was to include a wide range of perspectives and focus on creative, innovation solutions.
Employment trends for those with autism spectrum disorders
- There are currently 3.5 million people living with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with an estimated 50,000 individuals entering adulthood each year*.
- Young adults on the autism spectrum often miss out on the critical early work experiences and those who enter the workforce, even with a college degree, face higher rates of joblessness than their peers. Current unemployment and underemployment rates for those on the autism spectrum are reported near 80%.
- Employers are interested in hiring the best and the brightest job candidates but standard recruitment practices can unintentionally screen out neurodiverse job seekers.
- Once employed, individuals on the autism spectrum become loyal, long-term employees with strengths in logical and analytical thinking, great attention to detail, and strong ability to focus on the task at hand.
*Roux, A.M., Shattuck, P.T., Cooper, B.P., Anderson, K.A., Wagner, M. & Narendorf, SC. (2013) Postsecondary employment experiences among young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2013 Sep;52(9):931-9.
The Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative at RIT
NHI seeks to:
- Increase the career readiness of neurodiverse students at RIT
- Expand employment options for neurodiverse students at RIT
- Prepare employers to effectively engage with neurodiverse job seekers