Only 16 per cent of autistic adults are in full-time paid work, a figure that has not changed since 2007, while another 16 per cent have part-time jobs.
The next phase of the National Autistic Society’s Too Much Information campaign, to change the public’s understanding of autism, puts the focus on the need to do more to improve employment opportunities for people with autism.
A new film created for the campaign highlights the problems many autistic adults face when seeking work, whether in interviews or from the environment of an office.
The NAS is calling on the Government to take action to double the number of autistic people who are in regular work but says this requires greater understanding and support from both the Government and employers. It has launched a petition demanding action to address the issue.
Mark Lever, the chief executive of the NAS, said: “Autistic people have a huge contribution to make to our economy and society, including in the workplace. But they’ve been repeatedly failed by government and overlooked by employers.
“A national programme to make employers aware of the skills and potential of autistic people would be a good start. But this needs to be accompanied by the introduction of autism-specific support to help autistic people find and stay in work.
“Not all autistic people are able to work. But many are and are desperate to find a job which reflects their talent and interests. With a little understanding and small adjustments to the workplace, they can be a real asset to businesses across the UK. Autistic people deserve that chance.”
The Too Much Information campaign was launched earlier this year with a film about what sensory overload is like for a boy with autism as he goes shopping with his mother.
Click here for more information about the Too Much Information campaign and to sign the petition.