Online Program

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All Times EDT

Thursday, October 7
Thu, Oct 7, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Strategies for the Workplace

Neurodiversity in the Workplace: My Autism Journey (309891)

*Christine P. Chai, Microsoft 

Keywords: neurodiversity, autism, career development, disability, accommodations

Neurodiversity includes a wide range of conditions like autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and so on. Many neurodiverse people are capable of working, but they face some barriers that neurotypical people do not. As a woman with autism, I have encountered unique challenges at work, especially in communication and social interaction. With my late-life diagnosis in 2017, I also realized I have some strengths in statistics and data science that came from neurodiversity. Examples include creativity and pattern recognition. The prevalence of autism is 1 out of 59 in the US, so I'd like to share my experience and observations because it is likely that people would work with someone neurodiverse at a point in their careers.

I am also going to talk about the benefits of tapping into the neurodiverse talent pool -- they have amazing talents and can provide different perspectives. More and more companies have launched their neurodiversity hiring programs with success, such as Microsoft and SAS. Finally, I will give examples of reasonable accommodations at work that allow qualified individuals with a disability to perform their job, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).