Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative

The Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative (NHI) was developed to strengthen the graduation and employment outcomes of neurodiverse students by connecting them with employers who are seeking to diversify their workforce.

About the Initiative

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 ways 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

The Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative helps to connect employers with neurodiverse job seekers.

Initiative Goals

  • 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

For Students

Benefits to participating include:

  • Access to work opportunities with companies and organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to inclusion and understand the unique strengths of neurodiverse candidates
  • Opportunities that help build your skills, add to your work experiences and strengthen your resume

Join our mailing list to be notified about future events and opportunities


For additional resources on careers and employment visit our Job Seekers page

For Employers

We know you are interested in hiring the best and brightest job candidates. However, traditional HR practices can inadvertently exclude neurodiverse talent.

Here are three ways we can connect you with talented students:

Recruiting

We offer assistance in finding neurodiverse candidates through networking events, resume books, and direct referrals. Candidates are available for semester-long or full-time summer experiences related to their area of study at RIT, especially in the areas of computing, engineering, software development and testing, media design and development, and more.

Training and Support

Those working closely with an intern or neurodiverse employee, including supervisors, mentors or co-workers, and HR managers, will have access to training about best practices related to recruiting and supervising neurodiverse talent. Consultation and support from neurodiversity experts is available throughout the employment period.


Learn more about the benefits of hiring a neurodiverse student and explore our resources

Employer page


Ready to hire neurodiverse talent?

Contact ssp@rit.edu

Employer Testimonials