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  • Autism & Employment Forum 2012 a success
Oct
16

Autism & Employment Forum 2012 a success

AElivephotoMore than 750 employers, families, service providers, and individuals affected by autism gathered at 3M headquarters to raise awareness about employment and ASD on Oct. 9. Employers and those seeking employment were motivated by keynote speakers Dr. Stephen Shore, Author and Professor at Adelphi University, and Randy Lewis, Senior Vice President for Supply Chain and Logistics, Walgreens.

"The speakers were excellent," April Schnell, Specialisterne USA, said. "The presentations added to the sense of momentum on the wonderful work that is going on in your organization and the community."

Sherry Kenny, AuSM's Executive Director/CEO noted, "We believe AuSM has created a state wide movement on the awareness of educating our employers to this untapped talent pool."

"Having so many in attendance again this year is the mark of progress, these results are an indicator that we are enhancing the lives of those affected by ASD, in our quest to improve employment opportunities," Kenny said.

AElivephotoMore than 750 employers, families, service providers, and individuals affected by autism gathered at 3M headquarters to raise awareness about employment and ASD on Oct. 9. Employers and those seeking employment were motivated by keynote speakers Dr. Stephen Shore, Author and Professor at Adelphi University, and Randy Lewis, Senior Vice President for Supply Chain and Logistics, Walgreens.

"The speakers were excellent," April Schnell, Specialisterne USA, said. "The presentations added to the sense of momentum on the wonderful work that is going on in your organization and the community."

Sherry Kenny, AuSM's Executive Director/CEO noted, "We believe AuSM has created a state wide movement on the awareness of educating our employers to this untapped talent pool."

"Having so many in attendance again this year is the mark of progress, these results are an indicator that we are enhancing the lives of those affected by ASD, in our quest to improve employment opportunities," Kenny said.

Dr. Shore spoke of the challenges he has faced as an individual living with ASD. He advised employers to look towards strengths.

"Find the strengths of individuals with ASD and use those for fulfillment and productivity," Dr. Shore said.

Lewis's message was positive and proactive as he encouraged employers to open their minds to the gifts of autism in the workplace.

"The satisfaction of our success does not compare to the satisfaction of making another successful," Lewis said.

During the sessions, Kim Peck, Vocational Rehabilitation Services, presented the 2012 AuSM Employment Awards to Medtronic, MnDOT and Wells Fargo for their achievements in increasing awareness and promoting a diverse, inclusive culture within their companies.

The Leadership Summit Lunch with special guest Lucinda Jesson, MN Department of Human Services Commissioner, and the Lunch with the Autism Experts were informative and served as great networking opportunities.

Scott Badesch, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Autism Society of America said the Autism & Employment Forum was beyond wonderful. "As a professional, I found it heartwarming to see how good the work you are doing to help open so many new doors for so many," he said.

"As a father of a child with autism, I was given further hope that the world my adult son will grow up in will be one of kindness and caring for him as an employee."  

AuSM would like to extend a special thank you to everyone who made the Forum a wonderful success: event co-founders, 3M, Best Buy and Cargill; our Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors; the moderators and speakers; the many 3M volunteers; and especially all employers, hiring managers, educators, caregivers, and individuals with ASD who spent the day learning about the talents individuals with autism bring to the workplace and to our lives. The support of so many helps AuSM realize its mission of enhancing the lives of those affected by ASD through employment opportunities. Thank you.