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New A&E Show Puts Spotlight on Employment for People With Autism and Tourette Syndrome

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In May, TV network A&E will air “The Employables,” a new eight-episode documentary series following job seekers with autism and Tourette syndrome as they discover their talents and pursue meaningful employment.

Each one-hour episode of “The Employables” will follow two neurodiverse individuals as they seek a job. Every job candidate works with a specialist who helps them identify their strengths. Once they determine their talents, each job seeker sets out on interviews with potential employers. The series also highlights the experiences that family and friends go through as they support their loved ones.

“The Employables” may also shed light on the difficulty people with disabilities have finding jobs. According to a report from the nonprofit RespectAbility, the employment rate among people with disabilities is only 37 percent compared to 77.2 percent of those without disabilities. In addition, it is still lawful for some companies to pay employees with disabilities less than minimum wage, which affects more than 150,000 U.S. workers with disabilities.

A&E seems to be leading the way in providing documentary-style shows that change the conversation around disability. “Born This Way” first aired on the network in December 2015. The series follows the lives of seven young adults with Down syndrome. Last season concluded with one of the cast members getting married. “Born This Way” has aired for four seasons and won three Emmy awards.

With “The Employables,” A&E will use the series as an opportunity to provide information online and via social media about organizations offering programs and resources for individuals with disabilities seeking employment.

“We are honored that A&E continues to be a home to stories that celebrate diversity and give a voice to those fearlessly pursuing their dreams,” Elaine Frontain Bryant, executive vice president and head of programming at A&E Network, said in a press release. “Like our Emmy-winning series ‘Born This Way,’ ‘The Employables’ is an important example of how embracing our differences can bring about positive and necessary change both in the workplace and in the lives of so many people.”

“The Employables” will air on A&E Network starting May 8 at 10 p.m. ET.

Originally published: April 8, 2019
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