Getting a Job

Isnt it really unfair that employers turn people away because they have HFA or Asperger syndrome?? 

I believe there isnt a lot of support from the UK government when it comes to tackling job employment for the disabled. Would i be right in saying that??

Who on here actually has a part-time or full-time job?

  • i see where your coming from, im a student right now, but i have a job working a greggs store at weekends for the money, i did'nt have my diagnosis at that time, and even now that i do, i havent informed my employers. but, i will soon be looking for an apprentice, so ill have to see how that goes.

    if i may ask, has something promted this post? have you recently been turned down for a job on these grounds?

  • we are still being turned away by employers because of our disabilty this make my so angry well i guess our best idea is to help the nas to get us the same rights to jobs as everyone else as we can do jobs just as good as any normal peson 

    why are our rights to jobs being taken away this must stop

    The Major

  • Is there collated evidence that people with HFA or Asperger Syndrome have been rejected by employers on those grounds?

    I'm not ignoring the sorts of discrimination I've witnessed, but IN THEORY there should not be such outright prejudice and it is supposedly challengeable in law?

    Unfortunately a lot of pre-conceived notions and clinical literature that mainly concerns people needing psychiatric help has led to stereotypes that might be in peole's minds if they prevent people on the spectrum getting jobs. But that again is challengeable if evidence is collated.

    However we need to distinguish any explicit exclusion from perceived exclusion. If you apply for a job there may be an equalities form which asks you about any disabilities, but that is not supposed to be shown to the people selecting candidates from applications. If that is happening with regard to autism spectrum candidates that is a serious matter (hard to address but in theory wrong).

    You might chose to disclose your disability on the application form, and that might preclude you from getting a job, but employers must not discriminate and there are tight legal controls. In practice though it is not proving easy.

    However application forms and curriculum vitae can reveal information that might prevent you getting a job: frequent job changes, long gaps, lack of team work evidence (competitive and team sports involvement). They will make decisions to which people on the spectrum are vulnerable.

    If you go to an interview however, that's when things do go wrong. The interview looks at social interchange, ability to work in a team, ability to work on your own direction, ability to deputise or manage others. The questions are designed to bring out these capabilities. You can explain your disability in advance and you can ask to see the questions in advance and you can aask to have someone with you as an advocate. In practice a lot of these safeguards are overlooked or broken.

    As I've suggested, the situation is complex. Could someone clarify what is meant by the assertion people on the spectrum are being turned away by employers and then we can look at this in more detail.

  • In relation to what I outlined above, I do know it is going wrong at all these levels. The problem may be that it is not being challenged. Discrimination against people with physical disabilities is readily challenged and lots of cases come up. If there are not enough legal challenges where people on the autistic spectrum are concerned, employers will feel safer refusing such people jobs compared to other disability groups.

    Hence documentation is vital. If parents groups built up a record of details of what the grown up children of members are experiencing on the job market that would help enormously, and could help collate legal precedents.

    However I've encountered a lot of negativity in discussions on here, for example that people on the spectrum cannot work in NT environments, and people who find they can work in NT environments are borderline cases, haven't really got AS etc etc.

    If we propogate an image of people on the spectrum cannot engage in any kind of work, that in itself feeds stereotypes and gives some "justification" to those seeking to exclude us.

    Could NAS/moderators perhaps come in on this?

  • Getting a job is hard for anyone these days, let alone if you have a disability.

    If you have a job in these times, you have to consider yourself really lucky.

    Longman made a good point: teamwork, social skills and flexibility do not come naturally to people with ASD, and so we either have to lie in order to get the job and then suffer later, or be honest and end up not getting the job! It is a catch-22 situation because either way it is hard getting and keeping jobs if you have ASD. This is not to say that it cannot be done because there are sympathetic employers out there, but particularly in the private sector, with the past-paced drive to make super profits, intolerance to difference abounds.  With this governments assault on the public sector and schemes  that help disabled people get into work in local government, it is going to get even tougher.  I did two weeks work experience in local government under  a partnership scheme to help those with disabilities, but this scheme has now been scrapped!.

  • However we are back to the question - what is the evidence for people on the spectrum not being given jobs?  As distinct from not wanting jobs unless they are so AS specific that they have little clear benefit to the employer.

    A lot of disabled categories have different types of impairment but still get jobs. We have to be careful with the autistic spectrum that we are not ruling out finding conventional employment out of choice not to try.

    You need to see this from the Government and employer perspective.  Which groups do you prioritise? Those that fight to overcome their disability and go some way to meet the provisions made, or those who keep saying can't work, won't work unless the conditions are absolutely right.

    I'm not denying a lot of unfairness. But we cannot claim we are being excluded from jobs if we do not demonstrate we are trying. As I said further up this thread we need evidence of attempts to get jobs being rebuffed or obstructed.

    We cannot do that if the official response is that job opportunities were offered or not taken up, or packed in prematurely. We could make a case if there were barriers such as bullying in the workplace or ineffectual implementation of disability discrimination legislation.

  • The evidence is clear when it comes to unemployment amongst those with ASD, you just need to look at the NAS's own facts and figures. The anxiety many people with AS face is real and I think it is very circumspect to claim that people with AS are being overly fussy!. Not at all, our anxiety is an obstacle, but make no mistake: most of us, myself included, would love to work. Of course we try, and I try every day. I struggle every day with my anxiety. I simply cannot take most jobs. This is not being fussy, it is the reality of my condition. The jobs I aim for are jobs that I know will not make me too anxious and so this makes it hard for me to get work, because of my asperger's. This is why I have a disability. But I understand that we are all different and people with AS can and do work, but they are a minority. It would be fantastic if more people with ASD can work, but for this to happen employers will have to become more accomodating.

  • I am trying not to be personal or judgemental, and I am aware of the figures. However, this thread began by saying that employers turn away people if they have AS or Asperger's Syndrome.

    What I'm trying to do is to present the issues broken down into perspectives. To get any discrimination addressed we need to be able to present accurate data.

    My fundamental question is: are people being outrightly refused jobs because they are on the spectrum? That can be addressed (not easily) on grounds of anti discrimination legislation.

    Or is the problem that those on the spectrum are unable to keep jobs due simply to the disability?

    Or is this something in between?

    Could we look at this in wider terms than just individual's perceptions around their own situation?

  • all the proof we need lies with the people we must find evdence that from people on the spectrum are finding getting a job if we can prove that we are being turned away from jobs but until that happens the question remains what do we do i was angered to find that we may have to lie in order to get a job and then we may be given the boot if we tell anybody that we are austic

    could anyone with any inofmation on this iusue come forward

    The Major

  • There is an issue with health screening forms. Many companies and local and national government require recruits to fill in a health form. The problem is that the companies they sub-contract to develop and implement these forms are usually the same companies that carry out health screening checks for life assurance and private medical insurance policies. Therefore they ask a lot more questions than are necessary and the forms contain warnings about the consequences of non-disclosure. Getting these forms out of the system is a slow process but some employers are breaking the law by asking questions they are not allowed to ask.

    One of the issues was disclosure of HIV. Many of the forms asked for HIV status, but it has been ruled that such questions are not warranted in employment health forms.

    Yes if you with-held a material fact an employer could argue that they had a right to dismiss you, but if you are doing a good job they may not want to. It is harder than might appear to exclude you for non-disclosure.

    Most of the trouble recently has been over over-zealous medical health declaration forms.

    Has NAS any experience of this? Or have NAS looked into it at all. Some of these medical screening forms are very intimidating.