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If you find out that I am Autistic, I want you to…. …include me in the employment

22 March 2024

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Alexandra commenced with Aspect as the organisation’s Receptionist at our Chatswood Head Office just over a year ago, and has fit in perfectly. Prior to this, she had worked in administrative roles for about 14 years. Reflecting on her years of experience, Alexandra has developed the following list of things that have been most useful to her thriving in the workplace.

  1. Have a structured day-to-day task list of repetitive tasks that are to be done each day at work
    Example: check the mailbox at X times a day, monitor social media accounts, check the paper in the printer …. times a day.
  2. Have set times for meetings with managers to track progress. But, make sure to set the agenda and explain what the meeting is about so that it is productive
    Example: Fortnightly meetings with line manager, monthly joint meetings with line manager and manager for 2nd role.
  3. Line Manager helps to manage requests for assistance
    Example: If another business unit needs assistance with a set of tasks, my line manager will check with me as to what my current workload is, and if I have capacity, will allocate time for me to complete.
  4. A comfortable work environment
    Example: If it is a clerical role ensure that the stationery and computer and computer accessories are set up correctly and that any ergonomic needs are met. This might also include any sensory considerations.
  5. Have a go-to person
    Example: Have a member of staff whether it be their line manager or another staff member as the person they know that they can go to with questions or to help evaluate certain situations.
  6. Create a culture of belonging where all employees feel included
    Example: Encourage a culture where it’s ok to be yourself and where bullying is not tolerated.
  7. Having an environment where my colleagues understand autism
    Example: Consider conducting workplace training to other staff members understand more about autism and how to support colleagues who are on the autism spectrum.
  8. Teach new tasks explicitly
    Example: Please take the time to teach me new tasks clearly, systematically and also please don’t assume that I already know if I haven’t been shown.
  9. Allow me to disclose my diagnosis in my own time
    Example: It is up to the individual if they feel safe or not to disclose.
  10. Respect my down time
    Example: If I have taken annual leave from work, please allow me to take that time without reaching out.
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