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The Autism Advantage

Today, smart businesses of all shapes and sizes are redefining their perceptions of ability and finding new ways to capitalize on talent. Instead of focusing on perceived limitations of workers and job-seekers, they zero in on the tangible skills they bring to the table. It's an approach that pays great dividends for employers — and for people with disabilities.

In fact, a recent Huffington Post blog post discussed how corporate America is tapping into the many talents that people with autism can bring to the workplace, and how having them as part of their  workforce is good for the bottom line.

Reflecting this, employment is playing a central role in this year's Autism Awareness Month, which is held annually in April.  In recognition of this year's theme, "The Autism Advantage," the U.N. General Assembly has launched an employment "Call to Action," inviting businesses to commit to hiring people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Businesses interested in tapping into the talents of people with autism can take advantage of a number of free resources to help them do so successfully. For instance, the Job Accommodation Network's Accommodation Ideas for Autism Spectrum Disorders offers tips on interviewing, communicating with and supporting the on-the-job performance of people with autism. JAN also provides one-on-one support to employers over the phone at 1-800-526-7234 (Voice) or 1-877-781-9403 (TTY). Such resources quickly prove that the only things standing between employers and the pay-offs of the "autism advantage" are the right workplace supports.

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