Why TRACK? Helping individuals on the autism spectrum to access employment
Updated: May 11, 2018
Where did the idea for TRACK come from?
A survey in 2016 by the National Autistic Society found that just 16% of Autistic adults find themselves in full time employment. This is something which cannot continue. TRACK is a social enterprise set up in 2018 to work directly with businesses and individuals to help address this, through training, consultancy and creating opportunities. This is our story so far…Please contact us at email@example.com to see how we can help you support this change.
Transition and Change
I have been privileged to work with young people over the last 10 years in both mainstream and special needs education, and my focus has always been on supporting individuals to achieve their goals. These have ranged from people wanting to study at University, getting their first part time job or being able to access different places within their local community.
In 2014 I was given the opportunity to help design a Post 16 transition year which would support individuals on the Autistic Spectrum make the move from a special needs education setting into their chosen next step, be it College, employment or otherwise. When I got this job I was asked in interview what experience I had of working with autistic people, my answer to this was simple “I am aware of theories and strategies regarding Autism, but my focus is on getting to know the students at your school, because each of them are individuals, so although this may not be the answer you are looking for, I have no experience of working with your students, but I have a lot of experience of working with individuals and helping them to achieve their goals”.
"The first time i...."
Through this transition year we were able to support students into a range of new settings, some of which we were told would never happen. We saw young people achieve lots of firsts…their first trip to London, their first visit to college, their first job interview. It was, and still is a continual learning process. It highlighted to me the need to work with both individuals and businesses to break down barriers which may be stopping people to move on to their next step, and in particular in accessing employment.
Starting the conversations
Through conversations people can gain a better understanding of what individuals have to offer, rather than focusing on preconceptions and being anxious about saying the wrong thing.
So what are these barriers, and what are we going to do about them? Over the next few weeks we will look at a different topic each week. One of our first key aims is to start people talking about the current situation. Through conversations people can gain a better understanding of what individuals have to offer, rather than focusing on preconceptions and being anxious about saying the wrong thing. Already through conversations with Businesses we have seen a desire from people to learn, and consider what is possible, rather than looking at what is not.
What would you like to see?
Please contact us and let us know what topics you would like us to cover in our weekly Blog. When the TRACKcafe opens we will have blogs from our staff and visiting businesses as well.
Contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org or through our social media channels.