10 Companies That Regularly Hire Autistic Workers
Article updated November 16, 2020
By now you’re probably familiar with the statistics — though an estimated 56 million U.S. residents live with a disability, the employment rate for people with disabilities, including autistic people, is only 37 percent. This leaves workers with few job prospects and frankly, leaves a lot of expertise out of the workforce.
Autistic people have valuable skills to bring to the table, especially when employers understand that neurodiversity is a strength. There’s power in having diverse perspectives on any team and that includes people on the spectrum. Even though there may be challenges as you iron out accommodations that work for you, there are benefits for employers and employed autistic workers.
Mighty contributor Erin McKinney described just how impactful this can be in her article, “What Working Means to Me as an Autistic Person.” She wrote:
Working means an increased level of confidence. I have become very confident in my ability to do my job as well as, or better than, anyone else. My confidence in my skills has increased as well as my confidence in my ability to compensate for my weaknesses. … Individuals on the autism spectrum are worthy of fulfilling and meaningful employment and should not settle for anything less.
To this end, we’ve gathered ten companies that regularly recruit autistic workers nationwide, and even internationally. You can also follow The Mighty’s #NowHiring page for additional opportunities and work-from-home job options.
In 2015, computer software mainstay Microsoft launched its Autism Hiring Program. Since then, it has on-boarded more than 50 autistic workers across the company, including software engineers, data analysts and other technical roles. Microsoft also recruits people with other disabilities and has worked to make its application process inclusive. Roles are open in Microsoft’s U.S. locations, and it will be piloting hiring initiatives worldwide in 2019. Its next virtual career fair for the Autism Hiring Program is April 23.
For more information and to get more details on its job fairs, browse Microsoft’s Global Diversity and Inclusion webpage.
2. Freddie Mac
Freddie Mac partnered with the organization Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) in 2012 to increase its autistic workforce. The loan and mortgage company looks for candidates interested in computer science, math and finance. If you’re interested, you’ll likely start as an intern (but no reason not to apply for any job you’re interested in with the company). According to Freddie Mac’s website, it has hired several autistic workers through its internship program into full-time roles.
For more information about Freddie Mac’s internship and employment opportunities, take a look at its autism inclusion page.
Specialisterne is a nonprofit that works with autistic workers and prospective employers worldwide to set you up for success at a new job. Specialisterne will help you identify job options, work with hiring managers throughout the interview and hiring process, help negotiate for needed accommodations and provide a job coach if needed. It pioneered the [email protected] program in the U.S., and its model has led to successful placements for employees in companies such as Deloitte, Microsoft, IBM, Capital One, Bloomberg and more.
To find out more about how Specialisterne’s recruitment program works, check out its website.
Ultra Testing has made a name for itself by providing “quality assurance and testing for digital campaigns, websites, mobile apps and enterprise platforms.” According to the company’s website, the Ultra team is spread across 12 states and 75 percent of its workforce are on the spectrum. There isn’t much info on the website about specific job opportunities or what a career with Ultra might look like, but you can reach out to the company for more details.
Looking for a new job? Follow The Mighty’s #NowHiring page to find and post job opportunities.
Software company SAP began its Autism at Work program in 2013. According to its website, it has since recruited more than 140 employees across 12 countries on the spectrum. The company spells out its interviewing and hiring process online so you know exactly what to expect, and you can apply for positions in sectors such as software design, marketing, finance, software research and more.
To learn more, read SAP’s diversity and inclusion page online where you can email directly for more info.
6. AMC Theaters
AMC Theaters not only wants to bring all the action to U.S. communities through its movies but also through inclusive hiring practices. The company received a high rating on the Disability Equality Index for its disability work opportunity program FOCUS. This includes a partnership with the Autism Society to recruit more autistic workers across the theater chain’s locations. There’s not much info online about job options, but it does say its committed to “competitive employment, wages and benefits” for people with disabilities.
For additional information, check out AMC Theaters’ diversity and inclusion webpage.
Computer Aid Inc. (CAI) brings its clients reliable and innovative information technology (IT) services, and its Autism2Work program may be looking for you. If you’re interested in technology, CAI offers an inclusive hiring program that eliminates the traditional interview to focus on your skills in a comfortable environment. It also provides hands-on job training and ongoing support if you join the company. To start the application process, you can simply send an email and your resume straight to the company.
Find out if CAI’s job opportunities might be right for you by visiting its Autism2Work webpage.
JP Morgan Chase wants to store your money (it’s a bank) and pay you money if you’re hired through its Autism at Work program. Not only does the company have a dedicated office of disability inclusion to ensure it meets the needs of all its employees with disabilities, but its autism hiring program has brought on autistic workers across six countries. The program was launched in 2015, and Chase plans to expand to at least 300 autistic workers by 2020. It has adapted its interview process to be more inclusive and it partners employees with job mentors.
Get additional information on JPMorgan Chase’s disability and inclusion page on its website.
For the fourth year in a row, Walgreen’s has received a 100 percent score on the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI), an initiative that looks at the inclusion and treatment of employees with disabilities. Walgreen’s has partnered with Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, a foundation that supports people on the autism spectrum, since 2012 to employ adults with autism. Walgreen’s launched both the Transitional Work Group Program and Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative to help train people with disabilities to enter the workforce.
Get additional information on Walgreen’s disability inclusion page on its website.
Internships can help lead to great full-time employment opportunities, which is why having an internship at companies like Dell could help autistic adults prepare for their careers. Dell launched its Dell Autism Hiring Program in 2018. In this program, interns with autism work for the company for over a period of 12-weeks, and successful interns receive employment offers. Dell’s Autism Hiring Program was created in partnership with Neurodiversity in the Workplace and offers internships in categories such as software engineering and artificial intelligence.
Get additional information on Dell’s diversity and inclusion page on its website.
Are you an employer with available opportunities for qualified candidates with disabilities? Contact [email protected] to have your listing posted in an upcoming edition of our jobs roundup.
Header image via fizkes/Getty Images.