HMEA connects with 3,000 families who have children with autism through its Autism Resource Central program; other services include early intervention, school aged ABA, transition and a full range of adult autism services.
The first Summit launched “Students for Higher, Rising Up for Autism”, a project that has placed 70 college students as paid part-time ABA therapists. The second Summit gave employers a “Tool Kit” to help their employees navigate services for their children with autism.
The theme of this year’s summit is, “Hire and Higher: Leveraging the ‘Autism Advantage’ to Meet the Region’s Workforce Demands”. This event will focus on strategies for helping employers recognize that many individuals with autism possess unique and valuable skills that can allow them to be productive and successful in highly specialized positions. This is increasingly referred to as the “autism advantage” as it offers employers access to an expanded labor pool and a competitive differentiator in the marketplace.
In addition, results of the first annual “Central MA Autism Workforce Needs Assessment” survey will be released at the event. This is a first of its kind benchmark survey to identify challenges and opportunities to building and strengthening the autism workforce.
John Elder Robison
Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and author of some of the most widely read stories of growing up on the autism spectrum and living with Asperger’s syndrome, including Switched On, Raising Cubby, Look Me in the Eye and Be Different. John’s writing has been translated into 18 languages and is sold in over 60 countries. He is very active in his efforts to support and promote research leading to therapies or treatments that will improve the lives of people who live with autism in all its forms. He’s widely know as an advocate for people with autism and neurological differences.