Illustrated Guide with DALL-E on Challenges Autistic People Face in Working Life
Inspired by a Twitter mutual, I asked DALL’E’s idea of what does an autistic consultant look like. This was the answer:
Here we have, quite neatly, summed up all stereotypical, outdated, misinformed prejudices and clichés associated with autistic people. But where is the consultant? I ran DALL-E with just the word ”consultant”, and it looks quite different:
I think this illustrates quite well, why unemployment of autistic people is incredibly high regardless of their level of education, compared to neurotypical peers (see eg. Hedley, Uljarevic & Hedley 2017). University educated professionals, myself included) who must disclose their autism to potential employers face prejudice, stigmatization, belittling of expertise, doubts regarding their ability to perform and bear responsibility like their neurotypical peers. After all, people don’t get diagnoses unless they are somehow a little flawed or less than most, do they? (Actually, in case of neurominorities, this is precisely what happens). A real-life autistic consultant looks more like my photo on the frontpage (www.kaiao.fi), and their clients can be very happy with their competence, quality of service and expertise (see eg. Kaiao’s brand new Facebook page where first customer reviews have just arrived). Prejudice and discrimination based on them push highly skilled and talented people entirely out of working life or into meager tasks far below their actual ability and competence. This is a tragedy for these people, but also a loss for the entire society and organizations who fail to find and keep highly skilled people. However, this is the kind of problem that is solved by education and conscious work for inclusion and supporting of members of neurotminorities.
Would you like to ensure, that your organizatio is able to recruit and keep top notch professionals regardless of their neurotype? Do you want to your organization to extend DEI effectively also to members of neurominorities? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s get started!
Further reading: Hedley, Uljarevic & Hedley 2017: Employment and Living with Autism: Personal, Social and Economic Impact Inclusion, Disability and Culture p.295-311
Vincent, Jonathan. (2020). Employability for UK University Students and Graduates
on the Autism Spectrum: Mobilities and Materialities. Scandinavian Journal of
Disability Research, 22(1), pp. 12–24.