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Shortlists of workplace support for autistic employees: a freelisting study in the UK

Petty, Stephanie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1453-3313, Eccles, N., Tunstall, L. and Richardson, H. (2023) Shortlists of workplace support for autistic employees: a freelisting study in the UK. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 59. pp. 321-330.

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BACKGROUND: Employment prospects are poor for autistic adults, despite their abilities and desire to work.
OBJECTIVE: In this study, autistic and non-autistic employees gave shortlists of positive contributions of autistic employees, workplace difficulties and any adjustments being made to support autistic employees in the United Kingdom, UK. This aimed to provide routine and achievable good practice examples.
METHOD: An online questionnaire was completed by 98 employees, mostly from the education sector. Freelisting methodology was implemented, which is a qualitative interviewing and data analysis technique whereby participants give their answers to survey questions as lists, to identify priority answers for a particular group.
RESULTS: Consensus analysis showed that workplaces agreed on ways that autistic employees contribute positively to the workplace, including approaching workplace tasks from a different angle, attention to detail and contributing innovative and creative thinking. The main difficulties for autistic employees were noise and communication differences relative to non-autistic peers. Despite agreed difficulties and positive contributions, autistic and non-autistic employees reported usual practice in their workplaces as there being no reasonable adjustments made.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings show the need for investment into inclusive and supportive workplaces, and call for further research into good employment practices as identified by autistic employees.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-230040
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7886

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