Autism Speaks Employment Initiatives

(Check out an upcoming online course on Cultivating Autistic Entrepreneurship, organized by AASCEND friend Masie Soetantantyo of Autism Career Pathways.)

Due in fair measure to the efforts of autistic self-advocates, the national autism organization Autism Speaks is developing employment initiatives for autistic adults. AASCEND‘s June 12 Job Club (not the usual first Saturday of the month) features two speakers from that organization, talking on this timely subject.

(The Zoom meeting URL and password will be sent as the date approaches. No registration is necessary).

Anne Nagel, who is autistic, strives to make the workplace friendlier for people with autism. As a cognitive engineer, she designs tasks, products, processes and environments based on how the brain processes information. In the past Anne researched tech products designed for older adults. After being diagnosed with autism as an adult, she redirected her energy and became an executive function coach for girls and women on the spectrum.

Currently Anne is a human factors specialist at Autism Speaks where she works on employment and workplace issues. Anne received her PhD in industrial and systems engineering with a focus on human factors from Kansas State University. Like many autistics, Anne’s past work history is varied and includes jobs as an historian, a museum director, a church business administrator, a failed tech entrepreneur and a successful owner of a movie theater.

Picture of Anne Nagel

Dave Kearon is Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks. His work focuses on national initiatives promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan. Dave works to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities and resources available to youth and adults with autism related to the transition to adulthood, employment, housing and residential supports, postsecondary education and community integration.

Dave’s work in recent years has included the development of an autism-led corporate employment consultancy, an online job search tool for autistic job seekers, and an autism small business accelerator. Current initiatives include the development of digital, interactive developmental pathways for the transition to adulthood, as well as a larger employment collaboration with other nonprofits for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities called Delivering Jobs.

Picture of David Kearon

As usual at AASCEND meetings, attendees on the autism spectrum will offer their experience and perspectives throughout the program. Come with your questions, and let’s see what the labors of autistic self-advocates have helped bring about!

Who: Adults on the autism spectrum, families, mentors and professionals all welcome. For more information, please contact:
When: Sat June 12, 10am – 11am (approx.)
Where: Online via Zoom. URL and password will be emailed.