Toronto, ON, (August 25, 2016)
Geneva Centre for Autism and Kerry’s Place Autism Services are pleased to partner with Ready, Willing and Able (RWA) to launch The Compass, a database that supports job seekers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in navigating their path to employment in the Greater Toronto Area.
In Canada, individuals with ASD represent a large, untapped talent pool of candidates in the country’s labour market. Despite possessing a diverse range of skills and academic training, including areas of high demand, only 1 in 4 individuals with ASD are employed. Unfortunately, typical recruitment and selection processes often inadvertently screen out strong candidates who also happen to have ASD. Starting with the job interview, the true skills and abilities of the candidate may be concealed by difficulties in social communication, which are the very skills used to ‘sell yourself’ to an employer.
“This publicly accessible tool directly links job seekers to employment supports and opportunities so individuals with ASD can utilize their skills and talents in the workplace,” says Debbie Irish, CEO of Geneva Centre for Autism. “The database is an essential tool to assist adults in gaining meaningful employment.”
For a job seeker with ASD, The Compass provides a direct connection to one of RWA’s local Autism Outreach Coordinators, who support them in navigating their path to employment. The Ready, Willing and Able team knows that inclusive businesses are stronger, more stable and more innovative. In fact, inclusive employers experience dramatically higher retention rates and enhanced consumer loyalty compared to companies who do not hire people with disabilities.
RWA works with businesses of all sizes and across a range of industries. In the Greater Toronto Area, the RWA team has connected hundreds of job seekers to employment opportunities across all sectors.
Isabel Meharry, Interim CEO of Kerry’s Place Autism Services is thrilled with the new platform’s ability to connect candidates with progressive employers. “It’s a winning formula, for the job seeker, for the employer, and for society.”
Funded by the Government of Canada, RWA is a national partnership initiative between the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) that is working to increase the labour force participation of people with an intellectual disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Individuals who are on the autism spectrum and looking for employment are encouraged to create a profile on The Compass.