Conference addresses benefits of employing autistic

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - Finding a job can be difficult for anyone, but for those who have autism or any type of disability, the task can be overwhelming.

Local advocacy groups are trying to break down the barriers to help those with disabilities find employment.

Four New York ARCs hosted an autism and employment conference Monday at Vernon Downs. Local business representatives, individuals with disabilities and family members attended the conference.

The main goal of the event is to empower people to succeed, while training corporations to develop disability outreach initiatives.

"People with autism have great value," said Kevin Crosley, president and chief executive officer of the Herkimer ARC. "They are very bright. They bring a lot of skills to the table.

"I think it's important for all of us to realize that those skills sometimes don't come forward in an interview, so our ability to try to assist people with autism in finding work is critical."

Crosley said employers who take a chance on those with autism often find they can be great employees.

James Emmett, the conference speaker, has helped train businesses across the country, such as UPS, Marriott and Century Title, to establish disability outreach initiatives.

Officials say not only is this a way to boost local employment numbers, it also helps individuals reach their full potential and enrich their community.

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