Neurodiversity: Understanding Autism & Employment with FIDGETECH47:30 with Treehouse
In this session, Dr. Justine Haigh, David Karstens, and For Cheng discuss the benefits of hiring people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), how to prepare for employment with ASD, and considerations for success.
I'm so excited to welcome up, David Karstens, For Cheng, and Dr. 0:04 Justine Haigh with Fidgetech. 0:08 Fidgetech is a nonprofit organization in Portland metro that creates technology 0:10 focused programs for young adults on the autism spectrum age 17 and up. 0:16 Dr. Karstens along with Dr. 0:22 Haigh, Jeanna Johnson is one of the co founders of FIDGETECH. 0:24 Justine Haigh is the President, Director and Co-founder of FIDGETECH. 0:28 And she holds a PhD in consumer behavior, Master's in Innovation Entrepreneurship, 0:34 and a Bachelors of Science in behavioral sciences. 0:40 He is also the director of, 0:43 [INAUDIBLE] programme at George Fox University in Oregon. 0:46 Fortune is an engineering manager, Years, 0:50 including software engineering, Product Marketing, and program management. 0:58 He is also involved in the inclusion facilitating workshops, 1:04 and managing in monthly DNI newsletter. 1:10 He graduated from the University of Oregon and Bath college. 1:13 Currently, he is a doctoral candidate in the DBA program of George Fox University 1:17 working on his thesis in the area of neurodiversity hiring. 1:24 It's so lovely to have you three here, I'm going to hand it over to you, 1:28 take it away. 1:33 >> Thank you, thanks so much, Ryan, good to see you. 1:34 Yeah, that was awesome introduction by Ryan. 1:38 Welcome everything session, we're really passionate about about this topic. 1:43 [INAUDIBLE] The fact that I have an adult son of the office and 1:47 stuff with Daniel, he's 22 years old now. 1:53 And recently before the outbreak he was hired at Nike, 1:57 as an order processing person, [INAUDIBLE] the orders. 2:03 And his, [INAUDIBLE] but he's amazing, and he has awesome energy, and 2:09 a great outlook. 2:13 And bringing him up, I realized that people on the spectrum 2:15 are amazing individuals, and they have so much to offer. 2:20 And so sometimes it's just helping facilitate that, so 2:25 I personally first time experienced that with my son. 2:28 Okay, did you wanna things to adds. 2:32 >> So, I'm Ryan already kind of explain who we are and what you, 2:44 basically, if you check basically means technology focused. 2:49 So when my son was about, I guess we've had 11, 2:54 I noticed that he was obsessed with technology and working on the computer. 2:57 And so, it just became our obvious name, [LAUGH] FIDGETECH, technology focus. 3:01 And we've been going for about five years now as Ryan said, we're a nonprofit. 3:07 We're serving people on the spectrum 17 and over, 3:11 before COVID we had a number of in person as well as online classes, but 3:15 now because of the COVID we've transition to online. 3:20 Harley-Davidson, and some part was good, and I think our secret sauce is just 3:24 that we have the most amazing trainers and people that work with us and volunteers. 3:28 And so we're only as good as our people really, okay guys? 3:32 >> Sorry, video, >> Okay, 3:38 so today we're gonna talk about just real quickly what is ASD, and 3:44 some research that's shown the benefits of hiring people on the autism spectrum. 3:49 Then we're gonna actually give you some useful like preparing for employment. 3:55 And then what companies are currently doing to prepare for 4:00 nerve diverse workforce. 4:05 And then finally some considerations, and tips for your success, okay, Jeff? 4:08 So just a few terms here, we see all these terms and we're like, wait, 4:16 what is it, what does it mean? 4:21 [LAUGH] So often you'll see Asperger's associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 4:23 Asperger's is no longer used, but 4:29 in its day it was to describe somebody who may be more high-functioning 4:32 on the autism spectrum disorder, but now it's no longer being used. 4:37 So often we call it ASD spectrum and 4:42 a typical would be somebody who's not on the autism spectrum, 4:44 neurodiversity and neurotypical so this is diverse thinking styles. 4:48 So when you hear it associated with employment, or 4:53 what companies are doing to become neurodiverse. 4:56 This means that they are diligently and purposely trying to attract and 4:59 recruit and maintain people who have diverse thinking styles. 5:04 So we're really happy about that, [LAUGH]. 5:09 Okay, Jeff So why is this important? 5:14 Why is autism become such an important topic in society today? 5:19 And that's because in the 1970s when I was born, 5:24 only 1i n 20,000 people were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. 5:27 So I kind of every 2 to 4 years this rate changes, 5:32 just 4 years ago is 166, 2 years ago is 159. 5:37 And today the recent CDC stats say it's 154. 5:42 So this is becoming a society wide situation. 5:46 And so what can we do then to accommodate neurodiverse people? 5:53 Okay, Jeff? 5:58 So the problem is people with on the autism spectrum don't often have the same 6:02 path to independence that others do. 6:07 And not knowing how, where, who, or why, or what to get there. 6:10 They often find themselves stuck in their rooms. 6:15 I know plenty of young adults on the spectrum who basically are up all night, 6:18 playing video games, and sitting in the day. 6:22 Because they don't have a clear path to employment. 6:25 And so obviously, being the parent of a 22 year old, 6:28 I felt like there must be something that can be done about this, 6:31 because of your guy's amazing talents, gifts, and talents. 6:34 We need to figure out how to create that bridge of opportunity, okay, Jeff? 6:37 So although I'm impacted socially, 6:49 people on the spectrum often have really amazing gifts and talents. 6:51 And some things that people have found through research is a photographic memory. 6:55 My son definitely has a photographic memory, a passion recognition. 7:00 Often they're attracted to things like Mathematics, programming, cybersecurity, 7:04 and they have a really amazing ability to concentrate on things that they love, 7:09 which is for us is technology, right? 7:14 And so you should be utilizing all these gifts and strengths. 7:16 And so, the fact that there's not a bridge or employment that currently exists, 7:20 this is become our absolute passion to make this happen. 7:25 Okay, Jeff? 7:28 So at FIDGETECH, 7:34 our goal has become to help young people on the autism spectrum find internships. 7:35 And obviously, jobs by collaborating with other people 7:41 we're deeply committed to diversity and inclusion. 7:45 So working with tech companies, and other training services such as Treehouse, 7:49 just other people that want to connect with us and 7:54 congregate with us around this particular cause. 7:57 And we've noticed that people who are passionate about this endeavor are amazing 8:01 people to work with. 8:05 So it's actually a real joy to be in this type of work. 8:07 And to see people just achieved things beyond what we even knew or 8:10 anticipated when we first started the organisation. 8:17 So we're really excited because it's not just our idea. 8:22 [LAUGH] A lot of prominent companies have actually reformed their processes, 8:26 or have startup efforts to create neurodiverse opportunities. 8:32 And so these are just some of the companies here. 8:37 Some of them such as Hewlett Packard, Packard in California, obviously, 8:39 Microsoft and Intel. 8:43 He's getting interested in becoming neurodiverse, I'm here locally. 8:44 I have been doing this now for five years. 8:49 And so, we're really excited that the momentum is growing. 8:51 And there's a lot of smaller organizations now too that are getting on board. 8:56 Such as where David is currently working on xTrue, 9:00 they've just hired somebody on the autism spectrum as a junior programmer. 9:03 So he's been to our programs. 9:08 So we're really excited that both small and 9:09 large organizations have put this on their agenda. 9:12 Okay, you can change it. 9:16 So some of the benefits we found from research of hiring people on the spectrum. 9:20 I think I'm gonna have four jump in here and 9:26 talk a little bit about this with his experience. 9:28 >> Yeah, hi everyone. 9:30 So, I'm very interested in this topic because I have a son 9:33 that Asperger, he's 22, so his in this transition. 9:38 So I look into some of the benefits of how 9:43 these people can benefit the employee if they have new hire. 9:48 So this group of people are very reliable, honest, 9:56 and, They will over the office politics. 10:01 They are very tolerance in some sort of repetition and routine. 10:05 They actually lighter the office environment that has, 10:10 and also like many companies like HP, 10:16 in that they are actually hiring these people to come 10:20 in to do the validation work in computer software. 10:26 In the vibration world, do require people to run through the test again and 10:31 again and observe some of the practices that are out of ordinary. 10:38 So they are really good to spot those kind of situation. 10:44 The people attention to detail. 10:49 They really demand accuracy. 10:52 And also, Justin just mentioned photographic memory is also a good area, 10:55 so matching them to the right area is also important. 11:02 Some has really good strong logic, talent in math, 11:07 talent in programming and so on. 11:12 Some are talent in the arts music, so 11:15 many different fields can be benefit from this group of people. 11:18 And also, as Steve mentioned, they are pretty drawn 11:24 into the technology field, scientific research and so on. 11:28 My son really loves science and always kind of dig deeper and deeper, 11:33 sometimes even hear technology come from my company before I hear myself, so. 11:38 >> [LAUGH] >> Next slide. 11:44 >> Yeah, I'll jump in with a couple of the next slide for. 11:47 I mean, definitely. 11:59 Okay, sorry. 12:01 [LAUGH] So for NI, what we've been doing is we've been looking at 12:03 research from these big companies who we showed you on a few slides ago. 12:07 They're starting to produce articles and research articles, obviously, 12:11 directing the doctoral program at George Fox and for 12:15 his students in that program and doing his research, obviously [INAUDIBLE]. 12:18 Some of the big companies have saw some really interesting statistical facts about 12:23 the people who work there on the autism spectrum disorder. 12:28 So for example, 12:31 the software testing teams at HP are 30% more productive than the other groups. 12:32 They've seen huge strides on quality improvement and I think again, 12:38 this helps just the people it needs to make sure attention to detail, 12:43 make sure it's right. 12:49 Like on when he checks his orders at Nike, like he won't pass an order unless it's 12:51 absolutely perfect, because he wants to make sure that that's exactly right. 12:55 So and also things like in innovation, SAP and also HP overboard reported examples 13:00 of huge brigades generated by people on the autism spectrum. 13:07 A few other things in the improved processes, so Microsoft, for 13:22 example, I've said in just improving processes to help assimilate 13:27 people on the autism spectrum has improved their processes overall. 13:31 Which is always a good thing, such as improved communication, 13:36 how do we communicate things not only verbally, but visually. 13:41 How do we make sure that everybody's on the same page when we're working together? 13:45 We have it, we're seeing the problem the same way. 13:49 So just making sure that everybody is understanding what's happening has 13:52 improved communication across the organization in general. 13:55 Okay, next slide. 13:59 So, from my own firsthand experience, my son working 14:05 within his team at Nike, and they loved him working there. 14:09 And he was just he just a light to the office, he brings like a joy and 14:15 excitement and energy. 14:19 He loves working and it actually makes other people's lives better. 14:21 Having people who are neuro diverse, so thinking differently is a good thing. 14:25 And it brings a kind of a burst of energy and new thinking styles, 14:30 new communication styles. 14:35 It just helps the overall general feel of the office. 14:37 They also make really loyal employees because they 14:41 are thankful to have the opportunity. 14:45 And because they love to have that repetition and to work hard, and make some 14:48 absolutely brilliant, excellent employees that are loyal to the organization. 14:53 And then, of course, reputation, we all need to be more diverse, 14:59 of course, in general and including neuro diversity, right? 15:03 So organizations need to be thinking about diversifying and 15:08 also being inclusionary for people on the autism spectrum. 15:12 Okay, I think we're gonna talk a little bit more now about some pointers as 15:19 you prepare from employment. 15:24 And then after David covers this, then he's gonna talk about what organizations 15:26 are doing with to assimilating people on the autism spectrum. 15:32 >> Great, thank you, Justin. 15:37 And hopefully, my audio [INAUDIBLE]. 15:38 So some of my experience that I've had through Figitech has been with regard 15:42 to training and specifically for software programming, which is my background. 15:46 I've been a programmer for 30 years. 15:50 I'm the director and manager for our software development department at troop. 15:52 And we did, as Justin mentioned earlier, 15:56 just recently hired our first nearly diverse hire, 15:59 actually through a Figitech training program for software development. 16:03 And it's been a great experience for us and this training process 16:08 has really kind of revealed and peeled back some of the onion layers. 16:12 What kind of obstacles might occur during a training process 16:17 the person on the autism spectrum might need to be more aware of? 16:22 But also this is not just unique to individuals with ASD. 16:27 This is universal for all people who are programmers. 16:31 So I'm gonna be talking about these things in a general sense. 16:35 About some of the things that software developers who are in training should be 16:38 thinking of while they're training. 16:43 But then we can also talk about maybe some of the unique obstacles that 16:45 these areas impose on individuals with autism. 16:49 Keeping in mind, there isn't one set of problems any individual person has, and 16:53 certainly that's also true for individuals with ASD. 16:58 So different people will have a different mix of challenges in their lives, and so 17:01 this is by no means meaning to be a blanket statement for 17:05 all individuals on the spectrum. 17:08 So preparing for employment, here's a couple things that we've learned. 17:10 One of the tricks with taking that like with tree house training and 17:14 just about any of the other training programs that are concentrated in 17:18 software development right now. 17:22 That wouldn't be your classical college campus type training is they're largely 17:24 self paced. 17:29 And when you're involved in a self paced program, you can find yourself 17:29 kind of on a schedule that really doesn't change or flex very much. 17:35 You may be actually looking for something that fits well with your 17:40 ability to stay focused and your ability to stay awake. 17:45 I admit saw somebody mentioned about how naps are needed, 17:49 which is a very common thing, of course. 17:53 So I think one of our tricks is to learn how to stretch as you're going through 17:55 the training process. 18:00 Keep in mind that most employers are gonna have more of a stricter schedule 18:01 than you might be experiencing in a self paced training programme. 18:07 So trying to find out how far you can stretch 18:12 yourself to work to be concentrated on programming and 18:15 also to measure your rate of progress as you stretch yourself. 18:19 So not expanding the amount of time you spend in programming may not actually 18:23 be as smart if your ability to program reduces greatly as your expend time. 18:28 So working an eight hour shift, 18:33 your last four hours might be half as productive as your first four hours. 18:35 And you need to be aware and conscious of how that impacts you. 18:40 So our process that we've been using is we try to find out where somebody is at, 18:42 where they're able to start with training. 18:47 And as the training progresses, we try to increase time. 18:50 And continuously, measure rate of progress through 18:54 the material to see if we're still being effective in that learning environment. 18:57 So actually, we found that it's best to schedule that. 19:02 Don't kind of wait for it to happen, but instead, be very proactive and 19:06 put that on your calendar. 19:11 This week, I'm gonna be 15 hours as student. 19:13 Next week 16 or 17, and the week after that a little more, 19:16 maybe it's a month between times that you increase it. 19:19 Depending on your training program, you might have a lot of time to expand that. 19:22 So the stretch is a really important thing in preparing for employment because you 19:27 may find yourself in an employment condition that isn't very flexible, and 19:31 that you need to meet their expectations in order to keep that job. 19:35 So finding your upper limit and then being honest and 19:39 forthright about that limit to during the interview process is really important. 19:43 Repetition, so there's always one more than one way to solve a complex problem. 19:48 No two people are gonna solve their problem in the same way. 19:55 And another thing that happens in training is very often, we are challenged to solve 20:00 our problem We saw that one way we submit that solution and 20:03 we move on to the next lesson. 20:07 So we don't really give ourselves very much opportunity, 20:08 to repeat our problem solving skills. 20:12 So one of our challenges that we like to do is to send somebody back 20:14 to a lesson and say, okay, solve that problem maybe in a new way. 20:19 Sometimes it's hard to come up with, 20:24 to think about a different way once you've solved a problem. 20:26 Sometimes you think well, that's the only way you could possibly solve that problem. 20:30 And that's where the next stage actually really comes into place, 20:33 is working with others to establish some ideas. 20:39 So collaboration can help with repetition, in other words, 20:43 I'm not sure how I can solve this problem in different a way. 20:47 Go ask somebody, go have them give you a suggestion or 20:50 maybe reveal a new methodology that you haven't considered. 20:54 And then go solve that exact same problem with this new approach. 20:58 You could change your programming language, the tools that you use, 21:03 any framework that you're using to solve problems. 21:07 There's a lot of different ways to revise your solution, to exercise your process. 21:10 One key for that is, very rarely will you experience the same 21:16 development platform tools processes, from employer to employer. 21:21 There's always a slight difference in the mix. 21:27 So challenge yourself to solve problems in different ways, kinda prepares you for 21:30 that flexibility that you might experience. 21:35 One employee that I know, 21:37 their role changes from project to project because they move across companies. 21:39 They're part of a contract company. 21:45 So they are always being challenged to fitting into other teams, and 21:48 doing things the way they do them and using the tools they use. 21:52 So that's a great thing to be able to do coming out of a training program, 21:57 having practiced that process of repetition. 22:01 And solving problems in more than one way. 22:04 So with regard to collaboration, it's what, sorry about that. 22:08 It's a really important thing to do to work with others, 22:12 and very rarely will you ever write software on your own. 22:16 You're almost always collaborating with others to do that. 22:21 That includes not only coming up with the idea of how to solve a problem. 22:24 But even in a code module, two people, three people, multiple people working 22:29 in the same code module and breaking the work apart amongst the group. 22:34 It's really important that that group, be aware of what kind of 22:38 activity other people are doing, and how they're doing it. 22:42 So you're kind of all want to use the same processes and methods. 22:47 And again, in a self learning environment that you can very often become isolated. 22:52 So giving yourself options or opportunities to work with others while 22:58 you're learning to be a programmer is really important. 23:03 One of our programs what we do is we actually have environment where multiple 23:07 people might be working independently in a training situation. 23:11 But they get together, when they're working on something to 23:16 get that some feedback and some suggestions from other people. 23:20 So, look for opportunities, put yourself in a place where you can collaborate. 23:25 I think Treehouse has some great tools to make that possible online, 23:29 which is fantastic. 23:33 And the whole world of course, is being challenged to do that online right now. 23:34 And it's really important that you do that on your way to employment. 23:38 One of the first things that you'll need to really expose when you're applying for 23:43 jobs is, what kind of team work did you do? 23:48 You'll list out projects, how big the team were, what your role was in the team, 23:51 and then what your experience was in that process. 23:56 So I think you'll find, making sure that you experience a highly 23:59 collaborative process during your training will be very valuable for you. 24:04 So there is some additional things that will happen kind of near the end of your 24:10 technical training as you're preparing for applying for jobs. 24:14 But some of these things you should be keeping track of throughout your training 24:18 experience. 24:23 Because it's hard to build some of these things up, 24:24 let's say in a short period of time or a couple months. 24:26 It takes months and 24:29 years for some of these critical work components to actually be built up. 24:30 So starting on them early in your training is much better than trying to start on 24:35 them later in your training. 24:39 Portfolio building, this is not a one time thing. 24:41 [LAUGH] You're gonna want to every time as a programmer 24:46 you're working on something new that you've never done before. 24:49 You're gonna want to make that part of your portfolio. 24:53 Or if you're reworking something that you've done before, 24:56 making that revision part of your portfolio. 25:00 Showing people your progression as a student and also, 25:03 when you start applying your skills to actual jobs or projects. 25:08 Showing what you did in those projects is incredibly valuable. 25:13 At some point, you'll start to pick and 25:17 choose which projects you might expose on a portfolio. 25:20 But in your initial stages, you almost wanna just say anything and 25:23 everything that has a user interface, or maybe even has some logic in it. 25:27 That you want it described, is a very valuable asset in a portfolio. 25:31 Build your own site, if you can. 25:36 If you can't build your own site, use a site too like Squarespace. 25:39 There's a bunch of them out there. 25:42 Try to find one that's free or very, very cheap. 25:44 There are many but take advantage of starting with something small, 25:48 and just build it up over time. 25:52 GitHub, almost the universal version control system across the world. 25:55 It is highly public. 26:00 And we suggest using it as a repository for your projects. 26:03 I also use Azure, just so 26:09 you know it's not just get help that exists in the world. 26:10 But for the purpose of work and getting work, GitHub happens to be a key. 26:13 Keep your code active and GitHub. 26:20 When you're done with your training, 26:23 make sure you do small projects and track them in GitHub. 26:26 Keep track and make it active. 26:30 So, people and employers are gonna wanna see what you're doing. 26:32 And how often you are being a programmer, even when you don't have a job. 26:38 For most programmers, we love to solve problems all the time. 26:44 One of my favorite things to do is try to come up with a new way to solve tic 26:49 tac toe. 26:53 And so using some artificial intelligence tools, or 26:53 some other kind of logical tools. 26:57 It's kind of a fun problem to solve. 26:59 And so, anytime you have an idea that, hey, what about if I tried this? 27:01 But it didn't get hard, even if it's very, very small, keep that system active. 27:06 I think I did see a question come through apologize here. 27:11 Okay, I'll come back to that one. 27:18 So Rena, I will get back to your question on that. 27:19 And then entrepreneurialism. 27:24 As we all know America is built on entrepreneurialism, 27:26 and I think we celebrate that quite some heavily. 27:31 It is possible to be entrepreneurial and be employed at the same time. 27:36 [LAUGH] And I think part of that is to try and 27:40 balance in your life, but also to feed your interest. 27:43 It's really important that you don't let programming burn you out because it can. 27:47 And the one way to really avoid that is to be entrepreneurial, come up with an idea. 27:52 Try to develop a skill and idea, this could be maybe an Internet of things. 27:58 The bicept you've kind of thought, hey, 28:03 it'd be fun if I opened my door with my phone. 28:06 And like make it swing open or something or 28:08 maybe a device that works your dog up into more interfaces and away from the table. 28:11 So any of these kind of things that you might imagine work on it, by the way, 28:16 it makes sure it's in GitHub. 28:20 It makes sure it's on your portfolio. 28:22 It really doesn't matter how successful it is, 28:23 what matters is that you're showing and experiencing your practices. 28:26 By the way GitHub has a fantastic tool to look at opportunities for 28:31 coding, that are open source. 28:37 And lets you exercise your coding skills in existing projects, and 28:40 contribute to the open source world. 28:44 If you haven't looked at that, it's a very valuable and by the way, 28:47 looked at area of coding. 28:51 Many are job seekers if they have done that work, 28:53 the employers will see that on their GitHub site. 28:56 And look at the actual code you're contributing to the world, 28:59 it's a valuable thing to do. 29:04 That is it for me. 29:06 >> Okay, so, basically, from the research and then I was gonna have Paul 29:10 talk a little bit from his own experience in his work in TLM. 29:15 Like he's been researching internally. 29:19 That really to make it work for 29:23 employers to have a neurodiversity program they have to have a champion. 29:24 It has to be somebody at a high level in the organization who supports in 29:29 neorodiversity. 29:34 And establish a whole team of people who are passionate about driving this. 29:35 So without kind of a champion it's really hard to get momentum. 29:40 And so this is why companies such as Microsoft and 29:43 Hewlett Packard have been successful, because they had champions. 29:46 And Intel up until now, I think It got really excited 29:51 about becoming more diverse, [INAUDIBLE] Has kind got more involved. 29:54 And thinking about how do we bring this into one. 29:59 For Ken, can you, 30:02 are you frozen anymore cuz I see you >> I am Diana, can you hear me? 30:04 >> I just started talking about having a champion. 30:08 I was just about to get to the sport circle notion. 30:10 >> Yeah, so one of my interests is how to view a high 30:13 performing team for the organization. 30:18 And diversity and inclusion is really important topic because only when people, 30:21 you have diverse people, diverse thoughts. 30:28 Where you include the idea, the opinion into the consideration of your solution. 30:33 You can create a very good solution and view the high performing organization. 30:38 And so having the diversity and inclusion champion for 30:43 your organization is an important piece that is 30:50 the executive sponsor for such a program. 30:57 We saw a lot of company like Microsoft, HP, SAP. 31:02 They all have this high level champion, 31:09 executive sponsor to help start a program like this. 31:13 Also, in order to create such a program, 31:18 you do need a core team of people in the company 31:22 are passionate about being helping in this effort. 31:27 And also, when people coming into the organization, 31:32 when autism employee joined the organization. 31:37 How do you create a support group, that includes team body, 31:41 mentor, job coaching, and also maybe your employee 31:47 resource that can help assist those people? 31:53 They do need accommodation and so 31:58 on to help them to flourish in that environment. 32:01 At the same time, employee training, I saw a question 32:06 about how to work with peers that are not in the spectrum. 32:11 So, a lot of people may not be aware of those people. 32:17 So providing training to manager, 32:22 to peers is also very important how to work 32:26 with those spectrum employee intentionally. 32:31 The pair programming is also important part when you 32:37 facilitate that collaboration that they've just talked about. 32:43 And having people paired with an existing employee, 32:49 that they can help them to learn about the environment and 32:56 get into the workplace quickly. 33:02 Next slide, yeah, I think. 33:09 >> Yeah, I'll do it, I'll take this one. 33:13 Just so you guys know, there's a number of social partners out in the community that 33:15 supports organizations that you can reach out to. 33:20 So anybody trying to start neuro diversity program, there are people that 33:22 can help with suggesting candidates, assisting with pre screening, 33:27 arranging some public funding, administer training, of course. 33:32 Like similar to what Figitech is doing, helping with job and life skills coaching. 33:36 So there's job coaches, there's Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and 33:41 there's others. 33:46 Other private public organizations that help in a variety of different 33:47 ways that can provide things like mentorship and ongoing support. 33:52 So organizations are not alone in their endeavor to become more diverse. 33:57 So just so you know, there's a number of different things out there and 34:02 we could provide some suggestions if anybody were interested in a handout. 34:06 >> Okay, interesting. 34:10 [INAUDIBLE] We have a question I think kind of fits in really well right here. 34:13 >> Okay. >> And we have a few. 34:18 I apologize to everybody. 34:19 I think I missed some of these [LAUGH] questions that were coming through. 34:20 How would you recommend handling it if you're the only out autistic person at 34:24 a company? 34:29 It's especially stressful when you're worried and 34:30 not just about your actions reflect on yourself but 34:33 influencing your coworker's opinions on autistic people in general. 34:37 >> Yeah, so and the next kind of slides are going to talk a little bit 34:41 about how to be organized and also how to read social cues and 34:46 the sensory and sensory motor, sometimes challenges, right? 34:50 So, yeah, I would say it's difficult, and 34:55 I would bet the other people on the spectrum in the organization. 34:58 [LAUGH] I know that Bill Qaiser, 35:03 who was working at New Relic is a distinguished engineer. 35:05 He started an internal network for people on the spectrum, 35:08 and he just thought there's gonna be a couple people. 35:12 And he realised like there's a bunch of people in the organization that joined. 35:15 So it could be championing something like that where you can connect with other 35:20 people, and you'll probably soon find out that you're not the only person. 35:24 And it's just like building awareness, too, and enforcement to talk a little bit 35:28 here about this recognizing what your own, maybe your sensory motor abilities are. 35:32 Maybe how you think and how you communicate and how you organize yourself, 35:37 understanding what those are and 35:41 then be able to communicate that with your direct supervisor. 35:43 Or find a mentor to their supportive and understanding of some of the challenges. 35:46 And so, yeah, 35:51 why don't you hit on the next three slides and I'll hop through those? 35:52 >> Yeah, we can talk with that but I just want to get a quick notes. 35:55 So I think self education is very important. 35:59 Some of my coworker in their past experience, 36:02 they did not disclose the condition to the employer. 36:05 And the employer will treat them as a neuro typical 36:09 employee so, expectation is hard to meet. 36:14 But when you work closely with your manager, 36:19 you may not necessarily want to disclose to everyone. 36:21 But that is what if your manager and see how you get that 36:24 accommodation is important to help address some of the issue. 36:29 So, let's come back, here are some consideration for success for 36:33 people who are in the spectrum that are employed in the high tech industry. 36:39 One of the area is that we think the social coup in other points of view. 36:46 Many time, people with autism, 36:54 they will be not necessarily ECD look 36:59 into some of the sarcastic come in a new one. 37:04 So sometimes it's easy to miss that. 37:10 Not that it's easy to do it with that condition but 37:14 be aware that it is one of the areas that I can tell I get 37:20 into how to weld people also mixed up- >> [INAUDIBLE] but 37:25 sometimes it was taken in the wrong way, so just appreciating that. 37:31 [LAUGH] Some people say that, they may say very bluntly. 37:36 They actually pic a joke or humorous or a sarcastic thing, but sometimes that very, 37:42 very few point like my son really struggles to read facial cues. 37:47 So just hearing that tone of voice sometimes very hard to miss, so 37:51 just be aware of that. 37:54 So always be open, and not necessarily think that people are necessarily saying 37:55 something to you directly that specifically about you, but 38:00 it could just be a joke. 38:04 And I know that's hard to anticipate and understand, but 38:05 just kind of be open minded about it. 38:08 >> Yeah, the other area is your interest versus other people's interests. 38:10 Sometimes, people with autism may be very hold on 38:16 to their interests, if that topic get into that and 38:21 they will be keep talking and keep talking. 38:26 That's like my son. 38:30 A lot of times, he would just, when he just talk about airplane, 38:31 he just keep talking and talking and talking. 38:35 Other people has no chance to interject in their perspective. 38:37 So listening to other people's perspective and 38:42 also be aware of how much we involve our interest into that conversation. 38:46 A small talk is also difficult for people with autism. 38:51 So they may not be interested in some of 38:56 those small talk that some other people may 39:01 treat them as like our group of people. 39:06 So, not necessary, you have to involve in any type of 39:10 discussion, but be aware that is one of the area. 39:16 And monitoring, I mean, sometimes my son is very honest, 39:21 and some of the comments can be hurting, 39:28 how to interact with people. 39:33 One time, he went to a interview and 39:37 the interviewer asked him what is your area of improvement? 39:41 And he has this procrastination that he will tell 39:47 people I've missed my homework many times in school, 39:53 and that's an internship position and so 39:59 That may easily make people associate that, you missed your commitment. 40:03 So sometimes honesty, not that we try to lie or cover up something, 40:10 but do think about how you communicate that similar message. 40:15 And also the eye contact in smile is difficult for 40:20 people with autism, my son, sometimes they look at you, 40:26 and then all of a sudden it was tough not 40:33 feel comfortable in the icon that area. 40:38 Next slide, okay, sensory and 40:43 motor abilities an area that needs to be aware. 40:46 Sometimes sensory can be overloaded in terms of lighting temperature, noise. 40:51 I have a coworker that he is sensitive to noise and lights. 40:58 So he has to put up a tent above his office. 41:03 And as a manager, I will ask him do you need to find 41:07 a corner in the area that are more feel comfortable. 41:13 And he did want to do it, but usually in the corner area is those 41:19 kind of high up manager location that they want those situations. 41:24 So, he doesn't know how to self advocate his need. 41:30 So that's also linked to self advocate that if you have 41:33 any need concern to talk to the manager, and so on. 41:38 We also need to wear the noise cancellation 41:43 area to consider other type of accommodation 41:47 that you need to work with your supervisor. 41:52 So, next slide. 41:57 So this industry group called autism at work is a kind of 42:00 consortium, a lot of high tech company doing it. 42:05 The pilot thing or they already in the journey of start that new diverse hiring. 42:10 I saw a question about how do I contribute 42:17 if I have skill but now I need to find a job area. 42:22 A lot of this company has a public website, Eli, Ernst, and 42:28 Young, which is a consulting firm, Microsoft. 42:33 They have a neurodiversity hiring program, and the way that they 42:37 structure of hiring will be a little bit different from regular hiring, 42:42 because they know that interview is very difficult for people. 42:47 So, they will be actually bringing people into 42:52 some type of activity so that they can evaluate 42:57 the candidates, their skill set, and so on. 43:03 And avoid some of the pitfalls area of company hiring and 43:08 expecting the same type of behavior you will typical 43:13 employee will be doing in the interview process. 43:19 With the COVID, I think is more and more people can accept like virtual workforce. 43:24 And so, now physical location may not even be so important. 43:31 And if you think that your local area may not have Microsoft hear the important, 43:37 or other area, or some other company to look into that. 43:43 Whether that's an option, and then you can target for 43:47 companies that are open up for new diversity hiring. 43:51 So that is one area that I can look into to see. 43:55 Next slide, please. 44:00 >> I think we're just out of time wrapping things up. 44:02 So, thanks for listening to us, [LAUGH] as we talked about kind of a lot of 44:10 different aspects with regards to what is ASD. 44:15 Thinking about why we're passionate about this cause, 44:18 thinking about organizations, and their efforts to become more neurodiverse. 44:22 And then, also things to just be aware of in interviewing or thinking about working 44:28 in a workspace where they're increasingly becoming more diverse. 44:33 I would just say, this is so new, really? 44:37 I mean, this is such a new thing, as far as published first goes on, 44:40 in 2017, it was nothing. 44:45 It was non existence, neurodiversity wasn't even a term that was used. 44:47 So I mean, we're we're just like a couple years into this. 44:52 And that's what's exciting is that the companies who have helped pioneer this 44:55 have seen what a great contribution people on the spectrum can bring to 45:00 the workforce. 45:05 They have pioneered other organizations to take notice. 45:06 So, thanks for listening to us, and we know this isn't a simple fix. 45:10 Any company becoming diverse or neurodiverse, 45:16 it takes effort, and it takes passionate people involved. 45:20 But we're just really glad to collaborate with other organizations, and 45:25 people that also believe in this, and are championing this. 45:29 And just thanks for listening to us. 45:32 You guys are amazing, and don't forget as we do go through interviews, 45:34 and analyzed, you have, [INAUDIBLE]. 45:40 You deserve a space at the table like everybody else. 45:43 And I think that's one thing is as an educator working at George Fox, 45:45 I've noticed that young people often sell themselves short. 45:48 And so whether you're on the spectrum or not, [LAUGH] and just be aware of what 45:51 your talents are, and that you're important, and you have your own gifts. 45:55 And talents that only you as you as a person can bring, and 45:59 that you should be proud of that. 46:02 You're not trying to steal somebody else's shoes, 46:05 no two people in this world are the same. 46:07 We all are entirely unique in the way that we think, what we're passionate about, 46:08 what talents we have, that what makes us a unique individual. 46:13 Remember that as you're job hunting, and as you're interviewing, and 46:16 even if you're working in an organisation that's trying to become more diverse. 46:20 Just remember, we're all different, and we all have something to offer, 46:24 and so let's embrace that, and 46:29 let's work towards a common goal that every person in this on this planet. 46:30 Should be able to use their skills, their passions, and 46:35 their talents in a way that's meaningful to them. 46:37 And that can bring that organization success in what they're trying to do. 46:39 But also just as collaboratively as human beings all working together towards 46:43 the same cause. 46:48 So thanks for hearing from us, as you can tell, we're super passionate about that, 46:49 we'd love to hear from you. 46:53 I think there's ways for you to contact us through Treehouse. 46:55 So, thanks again everybody, it's been a pleasure. 46:57 >> Thank you so much, Justine, David, and For, it was very informative. 47:00 I appreciate you answering a lot of the questions from our attendees as well, 47:04 your work is so important. 47:10 And I wanna thank you for it, and 47:12 thanks to everyone who attended really appreciate you being here. 47:14 Please check out FIDGETECH, they're doing really good work. 47:18 Thanks everybody, we'll see you at the next session, take care. 47:21 >> Bye, everybody. 47:24 >> Bye-bye. 47:26
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