Microsoft to Host Virtual Career Fair for People on the Autism Spectrum


Microsoft is hosting a virtual career fair for people on the autism spectrum Wednesday, April 25. The fair will include recruiters from companies including Bloomberg, Deloitte, DXC technology, EY, Ford, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, and SAP.

Microsoft launched its Autism Hiring Program in 2015. Microsoft has hired 50 full-time autistic employees through its program, according to the company’s blog.

“At the heart of our program is a larger focus on changing the unemployment and underemployment rate for people on the spectrum, which is 80+ percent,” Neil Barnett, director of inclusive hiring and accessibility at Microsoft, wrote. “It’s imperative that we partner with other companies across industry to help change perceptions and bring more people with autism into the workplace and ultimately, change the number.”

Microsoft works with companies like JP Morgan Chase, Ford Motor Company and SAP to develop more inclusive hiring approaches for people on the spectrum. The companies recently launched the Autism Employer Roundtable to help companies create more inclusive hiring plans.

Despite 35 percent of 18-year-old autistic students attending college, 85 percent of college graduates are unemployed, according to Integrate, a service that connects autistic individuals to jobs. Out of those who do have a job, 79 percent are working part-time with an average wage of $9.11 an hour.

Microsoft’s commitment to disability-related initiatives extends beyond the autism community. Earlier this month, the tech giant partnered with Rochester Institute of Technology, home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, to pilot an artificial-intelligence language technology system called Microsoft Translator. The system helps transcribe lectures in real-time for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Those interested in attending the career fair can register for free. The event begins online at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. PDT.

Photo via Getty Images/volkan.basar


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Back of girl, she is wearing a white shirt and jeans, walking in the woods

My Daughter on the Autism Spectrum Needs Me to Be Her Parent, Not Her Educator

I’m an early childhood educator. I’ve been doing this for almost 13 years. I’ve been an assistant teacher, a lead teacher, a director, a teacher trainer and a passive observer. I’ve written lesson plans, done observations, created behavior plans, met with families and done countless training sessions. It’s in my blood. Working with children and [...]
People at church, mother with two chilren, the boy is distracted and looking around.

Autism in the Church

Churches should be welcoming, right? I talked with several families who had members on the autism spectrum and this is what I learned. Several people observed parishioners didn’t know how to interact with people with disabilities, so sometimes families with people on the autism spectrum were left alone and did not have any overtly negative [...]
Silhouette of a man giving a speech on stage.

Why I Love Being 'on Stage' as an Autistic Person

So this is World Autism Awareness Month. I’d like to take the opportunity to use this platform to discuss an aspect of my autism I’ve never really thought about before – an aspect that still feels somewhat counter-intuitive to me. The title says it all, but equally it says absolutely nothing. I was diagnosed with [...]
Couple in love on the beach.

My Fiance and I Are Both Autistic, but Different

My fiance Peter and I are both autistic. While we love each other dearly, there are still obstacles with communication and other differences. As Dr. Stephen Shore said, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Peter can be on the shy side at times, but is generally much more [...]