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How Companies Can Enrich Workplaces by Embracing Neurodiversity

Americans With Disabilities Act Annual Celebration” by Maryland GovPics licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: PBS

Paul Solman, Economics correspondent for PBS Newshour, explores the issue of unemployment for persons with disabilities, and discusses ways that companies might begin to reverse that trend by embracing neurodiversity.

The unemployment rate for persons with disabilities is nearly double the unemployment for those without.

“There’s a lot of discomfort with people with disabilities. I think, apart from that, there’s a lot of uncertainty,” says economist Douglas Kruse, who is disabled himself, in an interview with Solman.

The “fear of the unknown” factors, such as not being able to predict the expenses of having someone with a disability on the team, leaves employers unwilling to explore the opportunity.

While there is evidence of discrimination against persons with disabilities in most jobs, Kruse and a team of researchers found that there was no evidence of discrimination in jobs for data entry and software development.

The reason for it may be because people with autism and cognitive disabilities often have higher skills in focus and attention to detail, making them great candidates for those jobs.

Americas Managing Partner, Steve Howe, is currently leading a pilot program to hire more people with autism in an effort to enrich workplaces with greater neurodiversity – that is, a variety of cognitive abilities and strengths. The program is likely to expand to four more cities in the U.S.

Read full story at: PBS

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