We have released a report featuring research-based insights for companies looking to attract and support autistic and neurodivergent staff.

Just 16% of autistic people are in full-time employment. Many want to work, but struggle to get a job or cope with work environments, processes and cultures. That's why we started DARE (Discover Autism Research in Employment) to develop the knowledge and understanding that is needed to create enabling work environments. This report is the first step in that process.

DARE is a partnership with the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at University College London and leading researcher Dr Brett Heasman. The report is based on responses to a nationwide survey of autistic adults. Participants were asked about adjustments that employers have made for them in the past and adjustments they wish employers could make.

The report lists possible adjustments to job role and management processes, physical environment and equipment, and social and cultural practice. The report also features a 9-question model to help companies make these adjustments whilst taking into account practical limitations.

Dr Brett Heasman, the lead researcher explains:

“Diversity is at the top of many companies’ agendas, but neurodiversity is still a new concept. Until now we didn’t have a large body of data from across a range of sectors to suggest what might work for autistic employees and employers. For adjustments to be meaningfully implemented in the long term, they need to work for both sides. We still have a lot to learn, but this is a major step forward. We welcome companies to work with us to learn more.”

We are keen to work with other companies and develop a range of evidence-based recommendations to reduce the employment gap for autistic people and benefit business. Find out more at the DARE website.

If you are autistic, you can add your experiences to the DARE survey which continues to gather data.