Asperger’s syndrome no barrier to employment

Monday, 3 February 2020

These job seekers are proving that having Asperger’s syndrome makes them valuable employees.

The 18th February marks International Asperger’s Day – a day to highlight the achievements of people with Asperger’s syndrome and the enormous impact they have on society.

As a disability employment service, we have seen first-hand the immense employment value that people with Asperger’s syndrome pose to employers. Their impressive skillset makes them uniquely suited to fulfil roles in ways that so many others cannot.

Today, we’d like to highlight some of the amazing individuals that have come through our services and are proving every day that Asperger’s syndrome is no barrier to employment. In the words of Summer Farrelly, an artist and entrepreneur with Asperger’s syndrome, it’s a ‘superpower’.

Liam – Construction Skills Qld

Robert, Liam and Darren stand together in front of the Construction Skills Queensland entry
Liam (centre) with Director of Evidence, Data and Innovation Rober Sobyra, and supervisor Darren Oon.

When Liam was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome 15 years ago, his parents were told that he would never be able to hold down a job and that he would be dependent on them for the rest of his life.

Liam and his family chose not to listen to that advice.

Almost six months into his new job as a data analyst with Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ), Liam has developed two things. The first is a love of Excel (something he didn’t think would happen), the second is a new sense of independence and self-confidence.

“I like that I’m learning something new every day. Especially with Excel. I’ve been learning how to use it more and now I really think it’s fun,” he said.

According to Liam, without the support of EPIC, he probably wouldn’t have found CSQ.

Liam’s message for other employers is clear.

“There’s definitely a job for everyone. We Asperger’s people are very smart in our chosen field. Don’t underestimate us. Ever.”

Read Liam’s story

Mitchell – Brouhaha Brewery and Restaurant

Matt and Mitchell stand behind Brouhaha bar. The white tiles behind them are covered in grafitti and below that is the colourful beer taps.
Mitchell with Matt Jancauskas, General Manager of Brouhaha.

Craft brewery Brouhaha was struggling to fill a role that required an acute attention to detail.

It was essential that the role was filled by the right person as the quality control task is fundamental to the canning part of the business.

Local job seeker Mitchell was put forward for a work trial and started employment within weeks.

“I have Asperger’s syndrome which every now and then can make it a bit challenging with daily life, but with persistence and a bit of patience, I’m able to do just about anything.”

Mitchell’s keen eye for detail means he has become integral to Brouhaha’s business, checking all the beer cans for quality control before they are filled.

Since starting at Brouhaha, Mitchells says he’s become more confident and used to socialising with other people.

“The team here is great. They are very friendly and easy to talk to. If I end up having trouble or a problem, someone will be happy enough to help,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell’s advice for others considering connecting with EPIC is to give it a go.

“Everyone at EPIC is really friendly and they understand that it’s not easy for everyone to locate suitable work. They help out as best they can, finding jobs that are suitable, and supplying a support worker to help you settle in. EPIC is just there to help.”

Read Mitchell’s story

Liam – Avantix

Liam and Duncan stand in front of the Avantix sign
Liam with Managing Director Duncan Lord.

Liam found it very difficult in social situations to talk or advertise himself, making job interviews incredibly hard. Without meaningful employment, Liam also struggled with anxiety and depression.

With the help of EPIC, Liam was able to land a job at informational processing solutions company, Avantix. Liam’s role includes scanning old books and microfilms and turning them into a digital format.

Liam is excelling at Avantix and was recently offered a permanent position. Finding meaningful employment has transformed his life.

“The money is nice, but it’s more that I’m getting up, improving myself as a person, meeting people and getting new skills,” he said.

When asked what he would say to people considering contacting EPIC to find meaningful employment, Liam said, “200% please do it, they are just amazing people, you won’t regret.”

Read Liam’s story

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