Autism and work. Together we can.

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014, 19:02


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This World Autism Awareness Day, the organisation FOLKES – Malta is putting the spotlight on projects and initiatives to support employment for people with learning disabilities, including people with autism, the JoTradi project is one of them.

Studies have shown that between 761 and 902 per cent of adults with autism are unemployed.

This is one of the many reasons why World Autism Awareness Day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly as an annual day to draw attention to the urgent needs of people with autism around the world.

As a complex disorder that affects the brain. It impairs an individual’s social and communication abilities and often causes them to display unusual or repetitive behaviours.

Today between 1 in 100 and 1 in 1503 children are diagnosed with autism– totalling around 3.3 million people in the European Union.In most regions of Europe, these children grow up to face widespread unemployment and little or no support as adults.

Autism can certainly affect a person’s ability to interact in the workplace, yet the biggest barriers to employment that they face are a lack of support to find and maintain a job and social stigma about their autism.

Employment is essential to enhance the inclusion and full participation of people with disabilities in  society. It is also beneficial for companies that can use their skills. Research has also shown that companies that have employees with disabilities also report better staff retention rates, reducing the high cost of staff turnover.
For people with autism, employment is more than just a job;it enables them to live more fulfilling and independent lives.

Accross Europe,the innovative programme for supporting employment ’JOTradi’ is now fostering the development of better conditions for the employability of people with disabilities.

The JOTradi project (Job Trainers for People with intellectualdisabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders) is a collaborative initiative among seven European organisations (one of them is the Maltese organisation FOLKES whose aim it is to help to develop a sustainable knowledge economy, based on research, training and innovation to help improve the competitiveness of Malta and Europe more widely) aimed at providing training for teachers, educators, and trainers through a specific pedagogical programme. They will become ‘JobTrainers’, and will be able to support the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders in the open labour market in Europe.JOTradi includes a job placement programme to provide people with disabilities with a concrete work experience, and eventually, to employ them in a company.

For more information about the project please do not hesitate to contact Maria Limongelli at the following e-mail address:[email protected]

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