What is Neurodiversity? 

Neurodiversity refers to the perspective that differences in learning and thought, such as those often attributed to the autism spectrum, can be leveraged to create value and enhance innovation.    

 

The Growing Acceptance of Autism in the Workplace:  Autism At Work Summit

Celebrate Neurodiversity logo

“Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome,” John Elder Robison

Neurodiverse Hiring Intiative at RIT

Neurodiverse job seekers are a largely untapped talent pool that add a valuable dimension of diversity to the workplace and exhibit the following desirable traits:

  • Reliability, honesty and a preference for work over offi ce politics
  • Strong analytical skills, recall and attention to detail
  • Exceptional focus and fondness for routine

 

Employers are interested in hiring the best and the brightest job candidates but standard recruitment practices can unintentionally screen out neurodiverse job seekers. The Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative at RIT, a partnership between RIT Career Services and Cooperative Education and the Spectrum Support Program, seeks to connect job seekers on the autism spectrum with employers seeking neurodiverse talent.  

Neurodiversity in the News

Harvard Business Review (May/June 2017): Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage
https://hbr.org/2017/05/neurodiversity-as-a-competitive-advantage

 

Forbes (2014): Neurodiversity: A New Talent Opportunity
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brennasniderman/2014/10/30/neurodiversity-a-new-talent-opportunity/#53aecdc10585
 

Fortune (2014): The next frontier in workplace diversity: brain differences
http://fortune.com/2014/12/16/brain-differences-autism-workplace-diversity/

 

Venture Beat(2017): Software firms are actively seeking “neurodiverse”employees
https://venturebeat.com/2017/05/07/software-firms-are-actively-seeking-neurodiverse-employees/
 

Fast Company (2016):  Microsoft Wants Autistic Coders. Can it Find Them and Keep Them?
https://www.fastcompany.com/3062835/microsoft-autism-hiring

Hiring on the Spectrum - Employees with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Other Employer Resources 

Employer Guide to Supervising Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDF)  You may encounter students on the autims spectrum when recruiting and hiring RIT students for your organization. This guide will help you work effectively with these students as candidates and employees. Objectives include: 1) Understanding the characteristics of ASD 2) Understanding the benefits of hiring individuals with ASD 3) What can you do as a manager, interviewer, co-worker, or recruiter 4) Resources for further reading

INTEGRATE Autism Employment Advisors:  Helping organizations identify, recruit, and retain qualified professionals on the autism spectrum

Learn about Microsoft's Inclusion Journey

Job Accomodation Network:  The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Accomodation Ideas for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Employer Testimonials

  • Ben’s technical depth is excellent. He is self-motivated and diligent. Very focused. Ben is a brilliant mind. He impressed our team with an ability to conduct intensive, more linear, problem-solving. We initially engaged him to help troubleshoot a circuitry program – a problem that had been plaguing us for several days. He was able to diagnose the issue with incredible clarity.

  • He worked on a solution with remarkable efficiency and a clear passion. I particularly enjoyed his initiative to express ideas beyond the original project definition. He saw improvements everywhere and gave astounding clarity to our hardware development. He condensed complex problems into straightforward answers and often would rework existing solutions to be more effective and focused.

  • William’s design and programming skills were far beyond what we were prepared for. He has an extremely analytical mind and can quickly find solutions to a problem and use his computer programming skills to provide the solution. He can also see beyond the programming and understand the users side of the equation.

Contact Me

I’m interested in leveraging the talent of job seekers on the autism spectrum!

Contacts:

Laurie Ackles

Laurie Ackles

Director
2720 Campus Center
585-475-6936
585-475-5832

Janine Rowe

Janine Rowe

Assistant Director, Careers and Disability
Career Services Office