Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that causes social, communication, and behavioral challenges. About one in 44 children, according to autismspeaks.org, have been diagnosed with ASD as of 2021. One in 27 boys are diagnosed with autism, compared with one in 116 girls. A variety of factors cause autism, including genetics and the age of the parents at the time the child is born. Problems associated with autism include a tendency to wander or run away from safe areas. Children with autism may have a tendency towards self-harm, including head-banging, scratching, or biting. In addition, about 40% of people with ASD are nonverbal.
Parents of children with ASD may be concerned about what will happen when their children reach adulthood. They may wonder if their child will ever be independent, or be able to be employed, and they may wonder how many jobs for autistic adults are even available. They may also be concerned that the pressure of employment will be too much for their child. However, autismspeaks.org says that studies have been conducted that show higher levels of parent-reported happiness among those on the spectrum that hold independent jobs. In this article, Aaron Magee relates his story of finding employment as an autistic indivual, and states that, “Since I started this job with A2W, I can tell I’ve grown. I often lead morning check-in meetings where my colleagues and I share what we’re working on, set expectations, and offer each other support. I love my job. I can be myself and I am building my confidence.”
With this in mind, here is our list of autism companies, autism employment opportunities, and jobs for autistic adults. Autism-friendly employers are listed in alphabetical order.
Companies that Hire Autistic Adults
AMC Theatres is the largest movie theatre chain in the world, with its headquarters in Leawood, Kansas. Its mission to hire diverse employees is assisted by partners such as the Autism Society, U. S. Business Leadership Network, and the Greater Kansas City Business Leadership Network, Inc.
AutonomyWorks is a company that takes on repetitive tasks that are uniquely suited to those on the spectrum; this is one of the top autism companies. Tasks may include software testing or similar responsibilities. This company was founded by the father of a young man with autism.
BHP is a mining company, founded in 1885 and located in Melbourne, Australia. It offers a Neurodiversity Internship program, and it partners with the Autism Academy of Software Quality Assurance. Since the program started in 2018, says manager Larissa Mearns, the autistic individuals hired have come up with many innovations.
Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
Started by a family with four children, two of which have Down syndrome and one of which has autism, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee wants to change the way that neurotypical people see those who think differently. The company was started in Wilmington, North Carolina, and it now includes 23 shops in 12 states.
Chevron is an energy industry company that has begun a neurodiversity hiring program. They work with PathPoint, a service that helps those with disabilities and mental health diagnoses to get employment. This is one of the top companies that hire autistic adults.
Computer Aid, Inc.
An IT service management company, Computer Aid, Inc. has recognied the need for companies that support autism. Autism2Work, an autism employment agency, helps them in their attempt to provide employment for those with autism and other learning differences.
CVS, which stands for Consumer Value Store, is a pharmacy that was founded in 1963. The company values the diverse perspectives of those with disabilities. It partners with several disability hiring and coaching organizations, such as Ken’s Krew, Michigan Commission for the Blind, Goodwill Industries, Workability1, California State Department of Rehabilitation, and El Valor.
Dell Technologies is a digital technology company. Their neurodiversity program seeks to include those who think in a different way. Specifically, their autism hiring program re-thinks the hiring process to make it easier to navigate for those on the spectrum, placing this on our list of autism friendly employers and companies that support autism.
DXC is an information technology company that offers jobs for autistic adults. The DXC Dandelion Program is designed to provide the best possible work environment for those with autism. Also, the Dandelion Program wants to train these employees and give them valuable skills that they will keep the rest of their lives.
Ernst and Young
Ernst & Young is a professional services network that provides services around the world. It has its primary location in London, England. EY US launched its first neurodiversity hiring program in Boston, and it seeks to continue its growth by including the unique perspectives of those with autism.
Extraordinary Ventures offers jobs for autistic adults. According to its website, it employs a wide range of individuals, including those on the autism spectrum. It offers several services, including EV Laundry, EV Gifts, EV Pets, and EV Office Solutions; this is one of the top autism friendly employers on our list.
Ford Motor Company
Ford, a well-known automobile production company, offers a greater chance at employment for those on the spectrum with its FordWorks program. Partnering with Upbound at Work for hiring and training, they are committed to employing those with autism.
Freddie Mac is a mortgage loan company that began offering an autism internship program in 2012. Recently, the company has shifted to full-time hiring of those with autism. The company also offers accommodations for employees who need them, such as sit-to-stand desks or closed captioning.
GameStop is an electronics company that provides autism employment opportunities. They have partnered with Autism Speaks, a website that raises awareness for autism, to raise money. Now, however, they have begun a NXT Gen Coders Program to help young people with autism develop their skills and eventually be employed.
Giant Food, a supermarket company, has recognized the need for companies that hire autistic adults and stepped up to do so. Its autism hiring program is called Bridges from School to Work, and it helps young people with autism seek employment. Over time, they have learned what accommodations are most helpful for people with autism.
Goodwill, known for thrift stores, is a nonprofit that works with people who have autism and other disabilities to help them gain employment. Those with autism may find a job at a Goodwill store, or they may ask Goodwill for help and then work with a case manager who will help them develop their skills in preparation for employment.
Google, a well-known technology company, recently launched Google Cloud’s Autism Hiring Program. Google Cloud works with the Stanford Neurodiversity Program, which acts as a consultant for those wanting to hire people with autism. Google Cloud plans to train 500 managers as part of their autism hiring program. These individuals will focus on helping those with autism navigate the process of searching for employment.
The Home Depot
Home Depot, a home improvement company, collaborates with Ken’s Krew, an organization founded by parents of autistic children who wanted their children to be employed after completing high school. Although Home Depot employees with autism have the same duties as their neurotypical counterparts, Ken’s Krew offers one-on-one training programs to help them adjust to parts of the job they might find difficult.
HP is an international information technology company with its headquarters in the United States. Their HP Spectrum Success Program states that “diversity is essential to HP’s business.” They are highly committed to accessibility for employees on the spectrum.
Ingram Micro is an information technology company that is based in California but provides services for people all over the world. Ingram Micro partners with the eStewards ADVANCE+ program to employ people with autism at their IT Asset Disposition Processing Center, which offers technology recycling services.
JP Morgan Chase, an investment and banking company, looks at those with autism as a group with tremendous potential that is often ignored. Since those individuals may have difficulty with the process of seeking employment, JP Morgan Chase created an Autism at Work program to help them navigate the process.
Lowe’s Home Improvement
Lowe’s Home Improvement is a retail store, as well as being one of the top companies that hire autistic adults. Equal treatment is a key part of Lowe’s philosophy, and it is an important part of their success, as well. They are known for their inclusion of those with disabilities, including those with autism.
Microsoft is among the world’s most well-known providers of digital technology products and services. The website of their neurodiversity hiring program states that they believe those who are neurodiverse, including people with autism, have much to contribute to the workplace. Their neurodiversity hiring program seeks to recruit these individuals to work at Microsoft, creating jobs for autistic adults.
OfficeMax, an office supplies company, makes its way onto our list of the top companies that hire autistic adults. It partners with Aspire CareerLink, which is a work training facility, as well as with the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, which is another work training facility for those with autism. Autistic people may need to learn skills that come more easily to others, such as those related to social interaction. These programs help develop these skills.
PepsiCo partners with Ability Beyond Disability, an autism employment agency, to hire those who may have trouble finding employment because they are considered disabled in some way. Those with autism often fall into this category and may want to consider being employed at PepsiCo, which is known mainly for its beverage but also sells snacks and other food.
Rising Tide Car Wash
Rising Tide Car Wash was founded by the father of a young man with autism who was concerned about what his son would do when he was no longer there to support him. This company makes an effort to hire those with autism. The website states that the car wash is not successful in spite of the autistic individuals they have hired, it is successful because of them.
Safeway, a grocery store chain, employs over 10,000 adults with disabilities. This includes adults with autism. Safeway has locations all across North America under different brand names. According to Safeway’s executive vice president, people with autism and other disabilities have proven to be an important addition to their company.
Salesforce is a software company. Their Autism@Work program provides employment for people with autism. There are several factors to their dedication to hiring those with autism. One of these is the fact that the competition between corporations for talented employees can be very fierce, and Salesforce is beginning to think outside the box and find employees who think differently, such as those with autism.
The website of SAP, a company that describes itself as a leader in business applications, states that this company does not ask people to change what makes them unique in order to be employed. The company’s Autism at Work program was started in 2013.
SMILE Biscotti is a baking company. SMILE, in this case, stands for Support My Independent Living Enterprise. The company is run by Matt Resnik, and it was founded by his mother, Denise Resnik, in hopes that her son would be able to live independently. So far, the business has been successful.
Specialisterne, founded in Denmark, now has locations in 12 countries, including the United States. Specialisterne means “The Specialists” in Danish, and this company is dedicated to using the unique skills of those on the spectrum to find solutions when it comes to hiring people with autism. Their philosophy is that those with autism have a great amount of potential, but it is imperative that potential employers understand that they must have an environment that allows them to reach that potential.
Spectrum Designs is a nonprofit organization that seeks to hire young adults with autism. They produce t-shirts and related merchandise. They are partnered with Nicholas Center, which provides training and other services to employees that have autism.
Target, a well-known retail company, is one of the top companies that hire autistic adults. Target believes in the importance of diversity and inclusion when it comes to employees, making a point of smoothing out the hiring process for anyone who wants to apply, regardless of disability.
Ultranauts is a company that provides software testing services, and it is one of the top companies that support autism. 75% of its staff are on the autism spectrum, and the company maintains a 50% annual revenue growth. According to the company’s website, Utlranauts has launched the first fully online workplace for neurodiverse teams of employees.
Uniquely Gifted Boutique
Uniquely Gifted Boutique is an online store. In connection with the Unicorn Children’s Fund, they sell items made by individuals with autism or other disorders. While the boutique is waiting for its physical location to open, it sells items online.
Vodafone is a telecommunications company. Its Germany location has begun to realize the extraordinary potential of those on the autism spectrum, and it has begun to intentionally hire them. They are also making accommodations to make it easier for these individuals in an office situation.
The pharmacy store chain Walgreens is the second largest of its kind in the United States. The website describes the founder of Walgreens, Charles R. Walgreen, as someone who was deeply committed to hiring those with disabilities. The commitment continues to this day with training programs such as the Transitional Work Group Program and the Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative.
Walmart, a highly successful retail company, values respecting everyone, regardless of ability or disability. Their website stresses how important diversity and inclusion are to a business, and it states that Walmart believes these principles to be very important, which is why Walmart is creating jobs for autistic adults.
Willis Towers Watson
Willis Towers Watson is an insurance company that is highly commited to diversity and inclusion, both in their hiring process and for those that they already employ. This includes those who are on the autism spectrum.
Zenith Optimedia, a media company, values diversity, as well as attention to detail and inventiveness. These qualities make this one of the top companies that hire autistic adults.
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