The launch of a Call to Action inviting business to make concrete commitments to employ persons with autism took place at an event entitled “Employment: The Autism Advantage” in observance of World Autism Awareness Day on Thursday, 2 April 2015. This event was inaugural and it paved the way to annual Autism Advantage Luncheons.
Speakers included the former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, and business executives from Ernst & Young, Freddie Mac, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, SAP and more. Bill Blakemore, award winning correspondent with ABC News, moderated.
The 2015 observance of World Autism Awareness Day was organized by the United Nations Department of Global Communications and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in cooperation with Specialisterne Foundation, with the support of the United Nations Global Compact. The event was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Denmark, Israel, the Republic of Korea, Peru, Poland and Sri Lanka to the United Nations.
The event focused on measures required to support growth in employment opportunities for people on the autism spectrum. The intention was to demonstrate that people with autism can be valued employees for employers who understand their unique and often exceptional skills, as well as what it takes to create work environments where people with autism can excel.
See the webcast of the event or click on each speaker below to see a clip of their presentation.
Welcome and Opening
Session 1: Setting the Scene
Presentations from the floor
Mitch Levy, GM, ICT and Cyber Security, Department of Human Services, Australia, and Michael Fieldhouse, Account Executive, Hewlett-Packard
Session 2: Autism at Work
Presentations from the floor
  • Thomas Gass, ASG, DESA, United Nations