Today I attended the Autism Employment Conference in Flint Town Hall. This was an excellent initiative that hopes to raise awareness of the value people with autism can bring to the world of work. The conference was organised by Alex Lowry who has led the charge in bringing autism to the attention of everyone.
It is thought that 1 in 100 people in the UK have autism. That’s an estimated 700 people in Delyn and 25,000 people in Wales. And only 7% of adults with autism in Wales are in full-time paid employment. We need more employers to understand that people with autism often demonstrate above-average skills, in addition to individual talents and strengths, such as:
• Technical ability, such as IT;
• Reliability, conscientiousness and persistence;
• High levels of concentration;
• Accuracy, close attention to detail and the ability to identify errors; and
• Detailed factual knowledge and an excellent memory.
In May of this year the Welsh Assembly released £600,000 of funding in addition to the £880,000 Autism Spectrum Disorder infrastructure grant. This is outstanding initiative; helping those with autism.
I hope this conference will spur people on to give those with autism the help and support they need so that can find employment.