Blogspot: Autism and employment

Journalism student Michael Grimes reflects on a lack of progress in employment for graduates with autism

Embracing the voices of people with Autism: A participatory study presented by careers consultant Keren Coney and student Jack Fitzpatrick - Students at the Heart Conference, LJMU 15/16 June.


A very interesting session presented by two people who had a vast knowledge of the subject of autism, including Jack, a final year School of Education student who has autism, writes Michael Grimes.

The session focused on neurodiversity and the many forms of non-visible disabilities that are becoming more common, with a surprising statistic that autistic graduates have poor employment outcomes.

The most shocking piece of data that came from the talk was that people who have a known disability, but not a physical one, are more likely to be unemployed than those with no known disabilities. Something which begs the question: ‘Aren’t employers supposed to be more inclusive these days?’

The short answer is yes; companies do need to be more inclusive, and the graph shown in the talk was very surprising as it shows that companies are not being as inclusive as they should be, which is very worrying considering that people diagnosed with autism and other neurodiverse needs is rising in higher education year-on-year.

Jack, who is a current student, gave a great insight into his struggles at the start of his course and what he did to combat them and the support he received, before joyfully announcing that he got a first in his degree, which drew a massive round of applause from everyone in the room.

One question that still remains like asked earlier- Will companies become more inclusive to neurodiverse people?

Michael Grimes


- The Students at the Heart team have funded a number of LJMU Journalism students, in partnership with the university’s Corporate Comms team, to report on and cover the SatH conference in June 2022.  With the support of the Journalism School staff, Frances Yeoman and Alan Humphries, these reports have been produced and written by our students showcasing their skills and talents in a professional setting.



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