Amara Tamblyn lends voice to campaign calling on Welsh employers to become Autism Aware
Over the last five years there has been a 78% increase in university students who are autistic. Amara Tamblyn is just one of thousands of autistic students looking for a meaningful career after she graduates in July from Aberystwyth University.
Despite the number of autistic people attending and graduating from universities across Wales at an all-time high, the employment prospects for autistic graduates are significantly lower than those of their non-disabled peers.
At possibly the most challenging time for any graduate to find a job, post pandemic, being autistic adds further challenges. Pre-coronavirus, Autism had the lowest employment rates of all disability groups in the UK at just 15%.
The National Autism Team is asking businesses across Wales to see the potential of autistic adults in the workplace and commit to becoming Autism Aware organisation.
The campaign, Can You See Me? wants to transform public understanding of autism and help tackle the issues many adults with autism face.
Amara Tamblyn, 21 years old, is also the voice of the campaign film. She said: “When I graduate I’m concerned about finding suitable employment and finding an employer that is Autism Aware. I want employers to see me for who I am and what I can bring to the organisation.
“Autism means that I see the world differently and think differently to non-autistic people. I can’t speak for all autistic people, but I feel things more intensely. Some things are more difficult for me.
“I’m backing the Can you See Me campaign because I want autistic people like myself to been seen in the workplace.”
The National Autism Team, hosted by the Welsh Local Government Association and funded by the Welsh Government, is on a mission to help improve the lives of autistic people, their families and carers across Wales.
Amara continues: ” There are some simple things businesses can do to be more Autism Aware.I hope my future employers take the time to understand and think about the small changes they can make to their environments such as how they conduct interviews or how the office is laid out.”
Businesses and organisations can complete the Autism Aware Certification scheme and become an Autism Aware organisation by answering a series of simple questions. The questions will give the business a level of awareness that will encourage them to think differently about how they run their businesses and what they can to do help.
Cllr Huw David, WLGA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care says: “Not all autistic adults are able to work. But many are and are desperate to find a job that reflects their talent and interests. There’s a lot of speculation about unemployment at the moment, and we know that there is typically a disproportionate impact of autistic people.
“We are working with organisations and businesses to change the way autism is seen in the workplace. Engaging more autistic people in meaningful careers can benefit the individual, their families, businesses, and our communities. Because what we all want is a Wales where anyone with a neurodevelopmental condition is treated equally and fairly.”
To support people like Amara, you can complete the Autism Awareness Certification scheme by visiting the National Autism Team’s website at https://autismwales.org/en/education/autism-aware-certification or show your support on social with #CanYouSeeMe