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Els for Autism Foundation® Celebrates National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month 

Jupiter, Fla. – October marks National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the talents and contributions of individuals with disabilities in the workforce. Els for Autism® is proud to be at the forefront of this movement by providing essential support and employment opportunities for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disorders through programs & services, initiatives, and partnerships.  

Less than half of young adults with ASD are employed despite having the knowledge and abilities necessary for success in the workplace. (Source: Solomon, C. Autism and Employment: Implications for Employers and Adults with ASD.) 

Employers often find individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities to be exceptionally dedicated, excelling in attendance, punctuality, job tenure, and following workplace policies. Furthermore, companies that actively employ individuals with disabilities report impressive statistics, including an 89% higher retention rate, a 72% increase in employee productivity, and a 29% increase in profitability. 

In August, Els for Autism opened the Stoops Family Adult Services Building on The Els Center of Excellence® 26-acre campus. This 21,000-square-foot purpose-built building features several vocational labs designed to equip individuals with the necessary skills to obtain employment. These vocational labs include the Stanley Black & Decker Lab, the Big Easy™ Cafe by Ernie Els, and the Sea of Possibilities microbusiness. With the opening of our adult services building, we are providing more employment opportunities to adults with ASD. Discover how to support adults seeking employment, including the opportunity to name our grocery store or retail shop. 

While our team equips autistic adults with employment skills on our campus, our Employment Programs help adults secure employment within the community while helping employers fill needed positions. Our Work Experience program offers services that encompass developing self-advocacy and employability skills, assisting with job development, providing job leads, aiding in the interview process, and supporting job retention. Job coaching is offered before, during, and following placement in paid employment. Employers are invited to become a Work Experience Program Partner. 

In addition to our Employment Programs, Els for Autism is thrilled to introduce our newest initiative,
U Can Employ™. This groundbreaking program provides direct training, support, and consultation to both large and small companies interested in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and retaining employees with ASD. Marlene Sotelo, BCBA-D, MT-BC, Executive Director of Els for Autism, stated, “Through the U Can Employ initiative, we aim to increase employment opportunities for individuals with ASD by providing the necessary training, consultation, and support to companies looking to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.”