Posts by John Marble

Senior Advisor to Autism Advantage. Global traveler. Former Presidential Appointee under President Barack Obama. Autistic. I think about innovation, talent, diversity, and systems.

BNY Mellon Models Collaboration as Key to Innovation and Success

A primary outcome of our Autism Advantage program is in having taught our students to effectively use their autistic traits as an advantage in the workplace. Doing so allows them utilize their unique perspectives, experiences, and talents to help their employers and teammates solve for complex problems. Innovative environments require many perspectives. Teaching our students how to use their skills to collaborate and compliment the skills of others helps grow innovative environments along with their own career success.

Two weeks ago, data analytic students from our most recent Autism Advantage class visited the BNY Mellon Silicon Valley Innovation Center in Palo Alto. This allowed our students to understand and anticipate new trends in data application. More importantly, it modeled for them how innovative environments thrive by fostering collaboration between different skill sets.

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Joyce Peacock, BNY Mellon Silicon Valley Innovation Center Engagement Director, provides an overview of the company to data analytic students of the Autism Advantage program.

Joy Peacock, BNY Mellon Innovation Center Engagement Director, provided our Autism Advantage students with an overview of the work of BNY Mellon since its first component was founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784. Peacock also detailed how the company intersects with the technology sector and how BNY Mellon utilizes its Silicon Valley Innovation Center to conduct applied research and leverage open source and techniques to deliver strategic components for the BNY Mellon digital cloud. Like all innovative environments, collaboration between skill sets and diverse perspectives is key to its success.

Emphasizing the center’s collaborative process was Prakash Arunchalam, Lead Data Scientist for BNY Mellon. Arunchalam demonstrated the growth of data application into new areas, and how successful employees are ones who are skilled in translating the work of one area (such as data) into solutions for a variety of projects and departments. Arunchalam did this by providing our Autism Advantage students with an overview of machine learning along with a thumbnail perspective of how his team combines advanced machine learning and optimization techniques with “big data” to develop innovative financial services products for their clients.

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BNY Mellon Lead Data Scientist Prakash Arunachalam demonstrates concepts of machine learning and data utilization for data analytic students of the Autism Advantage program.

The session with BNY Mellon was held immediately ahead of a MeetUp event in the center convened by the Silicon Valley Financial Services Cloud Meetup Group. Founded in 2014, the group connects professionals across a broad spectrum of technology to share ideas, learn from subject matter experts, and track technology pertinent to modern financial services clouds. That evening, the group hosted a panel discussion on deep learning with Umair Akeel (Partner at CTO at Bessemer Venture Partners), Vivek Kumar (Director of the Advanced Technology Group at Dolby), and Dr. Adrian Kaehler (Founder of the Silicon Valley Deep Learning Group). There, our Autism Advantage students listened to how each panelist used their experiences to train and grow talent in deep learning.

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Autism Advantage students join the Silicon Valley Financial Services Cloud Meetup group to listen to a panel on the development of deep learning.

Our Autism Advantage students also leveraged their time at BNY Mellon to gain additional knowledge through informally networking with members of the Silicon Valley Financial Services Cloud Meetup Group along with BNY Mellon employees. Meeting future industry colleagues allowed them to model best practices and grow connections which will allow them to mature as employees throughout their career. Thank you to BNY Mellon and to the Silicon Valley Financial Services Cloud group for hosting us. The small investment of time you gave to our Autism Advantage students ensures that their future employers will one day be able to thank you as well.


bikeride1Hey! Our friend Kenneth is riding his bike this July for 100 miles from Washington, DC to the Atlantic Ocean. He decided to do this on his own to raise awareness and funds to train autistic adults through Autism Advantage. We think that’s awesome and hope you do to. You can support his effort by clicking here. Check it out!

County Federal Taps Autism Advantage as Wise Investment

No more charity, please. At Autism Advantage, we’re all about wise investments. One of the things I’ve loved most about basing our program in Silicon Valley is the ease at which the technology sector understands autistic workforce development as a crucial investment rather than as a charity.

For over 65 years, County Federal (Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union) has supported the rapid growth of Silicon Valley by providing financial solutions to the educators and service providers supporting the technology sector. County Federal is a credit union that understands the importance of financial independence and community investment, and we are excited to welcome them as our most recent community partner.

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County Federal’s commitment to Autism Advantage was witnessed by tech executives from across Silicon Valley at our most recent commencement ceremony. There, credit union representative Rachael Moreno stood alongside our data analytics training program graduates as she presented the program with a direct funding check on behalf of County Federal. However, County Federal’s investment in our students doesn’t end there. Like many of the executives in the room, County Federal has also provided input and feedback to students as they’ve sharpened their data presentation skills. That’s been crucial to their success.

We tremendously thank County Federal for the funding and coaching which the credit union has provided. We are also thrilled that County Federal will be deepening their investment in our program by providing financial literacy and financial independence coaching to students in future training cohorts. That’s huge. Autistic adults and their families routinely report financial independence and independent living as top concerns, yet few resources exist to help them solve for them.

Working with County Federal, we’re able to leverage their expertise in order to increase the return they’ve invested in our students. A small investment at the front-end of an autistic person’s career will scale to success throughout their entire life.


bikeride1Hey! Our friend Kenneth is riding his bike this July for 100 miles from Washington, DC to the Atlantic Ocean. He decided to do this on his own to raise awareness and funds to train autistic adults through Autism Advantage. We think that’s awesome and hope you do to. You can support his effort by clicking here. Check it out!

Going Beyond Graduation

In most commencement ceremonies, you can find a reference to how the word commencement means ‘a beginning’, That was certainly true for our most recent Autism Advancement commencement ceremony held this past Friday. However, unlike the majority of commencement ceremonies where it is often shared as a trope, we really do mean it.

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Some of our most recent Autism Advantage graduates prior to the arrival of guests for the commencement ceremony.

We graduated nine incredibly talented individuals from our Autism Advantage program last Friday. Over the past six weeks, they used our program to sharpen their data analytical skills while mastering approaches to successful workplace navigation. The commencment ceremony was held in an overflowing room filled with friends and family members of graduates as well as representatives from many of the companies we work with including Box, Citibank, EY, Mastercard, Symantec, and Visa. Representatives from Stanford University also attended, along with Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union, who presented the program with a donation towards future training cohorts.

Just as it would be an understatement to say that our team is incredibly proud of our graduates, it would also be an understatement to say that our graduates’ participation in the Autism Advantage program is limited to just six weeks of our core training. Like a commencement, the six weeks that Autism Advantage trainees spend in our classroom is only the beginning.

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Three recent Autism Advantage graduates present their final data project for review before commencement. A core component of the program is sharpening existing hard skills.

Autism Advantage continues to work with individuals far beyond their graduation from our training program. Upon commencement, we work with each individual to move them into quality employment. That includes interview preparation, placement, and support once hired. Once hired, Autism Advantage continues to work both with the individual and their new employer to assist and ensure that both develop the parameters they need for both parties to succeed.

As this program grows, we are incorporating new ways to grow opportunities for autistic adults. This includes fostering platforms which allow our graduates to connect with, and learn from, each other. That’s important. Learning occurs both in-and-out of the classroom. Growth occurs far beyond graduation. That’s why we are using our Autism Advantage program to help build support, learning opportunities, and autistic community within professional environments long after our trainees leave our classroom. Commencement means “a beginning” and that is the approach we are taking in Autism Advantage.


bikeride1Hey! Our friend Kenneth is riding his bike this July for 100 miles from Washington, DC to the Atlantic Ocean. He decided to do this on his own to raise awareness and funds to train autistic adults through Autism Advantage. We think that’s awesome and hope you do to. You can support his effort by clicking here. Check it out!

What Silicon Valley Taught the White House about Diversity

I often say that I may be the only person to move to Silicon Valley specifically for its lack of diversity. I also say that I have made it my mission to make sure that I am the last. I came here following eight years of service in the Obama Administration where our team was tasked by the President to come up with innovative solutions to solve for national challenges. My colleagues and I began routinely visiting Silicon Valley in 2009. Over eight years, the tech sector taught us models which we used to cut red tape, improve services, and save billions of dollars. However, as wondrous as that collaboration with Silicon Valley was, something about the conversations we shared immediately started to seem a bit off.

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Practices which Silicon Valley taught our White House team allowed us to save billions of dollars and solve for national challenges. Yet, I grew frustrated as to why Silicon Valley wasn’t using these practices and knowledge base to solve for a diverse workforce themselves.

“Oh, I notice that you have an interesting gap where the women in your workforce aren’t being promoted to management as quickly as their colleagues,” I’d say to company founders and high-level executives. “What are you doing to solve for that?” Each time I asked a variation of this question I’d be met with looks of bewilderment. I’d get that same look whenever I’d point out broken pipelines and practices which were falsely creating diversity gaps. Each time a look of bewilderment. Each time a sense of confusion. Hey, I’m autistic and often have trouble reading facial expressions. However, even I could clearly pick up on that.

The Kapor Center for Social Impact picked up on that early as well. In fact, Freada Kapor Klein (who founded the center along with Mitch Kapor, her husband and business partner) picked up on that decades before. Her 2007 book Giving Notice on the subject of workplace culture is one that I studied when the White House first asked me to serve. Three years ago, Kapor and a small group of advocates eager to see greater change in tech started Diversity Advocates, an informal and effective network of individuals working in Silicon Valley dedicated to helping their companies strategically think and act on issues of diversity. This week, the Kapor Center for Social Impact hosted a third birthday party for the group.

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Courtesy of Diversity Advocates

“It’s essential that we all share knowledge and support each other’s efforts,” said Jessie Wusthoff of Diversity Advocates. “No one can successfully do this work in a silo. The solutions people have tried in the past have not created the change needed. Members of Diversity Advocates aim to work together, share ideas, and help each other move tech companies to a place where equity, inclusion, and diversity are the daily experience.”

Three months ago, I began working with Autism Advantage in order to develop quality career positions for autistic people in the IT sector and beyond. However, helping solve for autistic underemployment is just my operational lane. While I’m tremendously passionate about that, it’s just a function of a larger passion in helping to solve for the talent diversity gap in tech.

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Autism Advantage members attended a strategy session at LinkedIn this may that focused on maximizing networks in the employment process.

As I’m someone who came from the federal government, you may understand my amazement at how fast this sector moves. Autism Advantage is new, however our program has already started to do amazing things. Thankfully, I’m fortunate to have colleagues who recognized at the program’s beginning that solving for autistic underemployment will not be possible if we simply try to solve for it alone. So, when our work opens a pipeline to the autistic talent we train, we ensure it stays open for others. For every one person in tech who connects their professional network to ours, we connect them to the work of at least two others as well.

When people think of autism, they often think of its challenges. I’m not denying that. However, there are incredibly wonderful things about being autistic. Apart from the individual traits I get to experience, one of those things I cherish most is the diversity of the autistic community itself.  All communities have autistic people, and the autistic community is composed of people from all communities. As such, our collaborative work often positions us in a way where we can piece together the connecting patterns between disparate employment barriers experienced by individual communities. My colleagues know if I suddenly shout “Remind me to map access to healthcare for black families in upstate New York!” I could very well be mentally connecting its impact, through multiple networks, on employment barriers experienced by autistic Latino individuals in Southern California.

Community needs regarding barriers to representational employment are often unique. Yet, if we look at the patterns we can see that all unique barriers always seem to intersect. Solving for the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley takes coordination. None of us are in this effort alone. It takes addressing both community-specific challenges as well as shared barriers. It takes supporting communities other than yours and it takes sharing knowledge so it’s not just your own. It takes leverage. That’s what Diversity Advocates believe. That’s what keeps me working towards the day that, despite moving here specifically for the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, I may be one of the last people who choose to move here for that.


bikeride1

Hey! Our friend Kenneth is riding his bike this July for 100 miles from Washington, DC to the Atlantic Ocean. He decided to do this on his own to raise awareness and funds to train autistic adults through Autism Advantage. We think that’s awesome and hope you do to. You can support his effort by clicking here. Check it out!

Autism and Social Media

Thank you to AASCEND for hosting me this week on their Life on the Autism Spectrum television show. I had a great time with the crew. We talked about how autistic adults can utilize social media to make connections, find resources, and seek employment. We also talked about how social media is allowing autistic individuals to build autistic culture. The list of the resources which I mention on-air can be found here.


bikeride1

Hey! Our friend Kenneth is riding his bike this July for 100 miles from Washington, DC to the Atlantic Ocean. He decided to do this on his own to raise awareness and funds to train autistic adults through Autism Advantage. We think that’s awesome and hope you do to. You can support his effort by clicking here. Check it out!

Autistic Social Media Resources

We heavily emphasize networking in Autism Advantage, but we do so from an autistic frame. The more connections that an individual makes through networks, the more opportunities for success there will be. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone needs to network the same way.

There’s a misconception that autistic people aren’t good at networking. If that were true, most of the internet would collapse. People just network differently. Online networking can be essential to creating connections, friendships, securing resources and information, and developing careers. Below is a thumbnail guide of autistic interactions on social media that we have found helpful. We’d love additional input as well from you so that this list can be even more informed. That’s sort of the point of networking, right?


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Organizations

asan
Autistic Self Advocacy Network – TwitterFacebookYouTube
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. It has local chapters all across the country. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community run by and for autistic Americans, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power.

autismwomen
Autism Women’s Network
 – FacebookTwitter

The Autism Women’s Network is an excellent way for autistic women to connect. The goal of the network is to dispel stereotypes and misinformation which perpetuate unnecessary fears surrounding an autism diagnosis. The Autistic Women’s Network seeks to share information which works to build acceptance and understanding of disability.

jazzhands
Jazz Hands for Autism – FacebookYouTube
A Los Angeles based organization working to support the education and employment of autistic musicians.


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Publications & Communities

Tb
AutCraftTwitterFacebook
The first Minecraft server specifically for autistic people and their families.

anw
Autistic Not Weird – TwitterFacebook YouTube Instagram
Articles and advice about autism from an autistic former primary school teacher.

aw
The Autism Wars

Mrs. Kerima Çevik is curently a blogger for disabilty rights, autistic inclusion, accommodation, communication rights, and representation. A parent activist, editor and contributing writer who consults on Autism and Ethnicity, she blogs on topics of critical race, intersectionality, autism and social justice.

blackaut
The Black AutistTwitter
The Black Autist is a blog where posts are focused on autism acceptance and issues & news surrounding autistic people of color.

NOSMagazine
NOS Magazine – Twitter Facebook
NOS Magazine is a news and commentary source for thought and analysis about neurodiversity culture and representation. Expect long form journalism, reviews of pop culture, and more. NOS stands for ‘Not Otherwise Specified,’ a tongue-in-cheek reference to when a condition does not strictly fit the diagnostic criteria, or is in some way out of the ordinary.

thinkingatuism
Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism – TwitterFacebook
A website and community where autistic people, their family members, and friends communicate. It provides clear information on autism and connections to resources. It features the contributions of many autistic individuals.

wrongplanet
Wrong Planet – YouTube
Wrong Planet is the largest online community of autistic adults. Wrong Planet provides a discussion forum, where members communicate with each other, an article section, with exclusive articles and how-to guides, a blogging feature, and more.


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Autistic Figures on Social Media

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Dan Aykroyd – Facebook Twitter
Akyroyd’s specialized interest in the career of an obscure German ghost hunter eventually led him to create Ghostbusters. Aykroyd is well known for various movies and his work on Saturday Night Live. Aykroyd’s specialized interest in law enforcement led him to become a volunteer law enforcement officer as an adult, which he continues to serve as today.

Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah – FacebookTwitter Instagram
Daryl Hannah is one of the most successful actresses of the past several decades. Hannah notes that when she was young, doctors recommended that she be institutionalized due to her being autistic. Hannah’s mother fought for her independence and created a space where Hannah’s specialized interest in classic films eventually led her to a career in Hollywood.

John Howard
John Howard – Facebook
Howard is a successful mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete who received an autism diagnosis in the middle of his career.

Ladyhawke
Ladyhawke – FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube
The New Zealand rock star Ladyhawke has become popular in both Europe and the United States as well. Now living in California, Ladyhawke continues to be celebrated for her musical ability.

Clay Marzo
Clay Marzo – FacebookTwitter InstagramYouTube
Clay Marzo is a professional surfer known for his trick moves and connection with water. Marzo has noted that his autism allows him to “feel the water” in ways that competitors often cannot.


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Facebook Groups

autistico
Autistico
Autistico is a group where autistic people can share advice and opinions, chat, debate and get to know each other. This means that this group is exclusively for autistic people. It is a closed Facebook group. Autistic individuals may request to join.

autistix
Autistix
Autistix is a group for autistic people to share information. It is open only to autistic individuals. It is a closed Facebook group. Autistic individuals may request to join.


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Websites & Blogs

autistichoya
Autistic Hoya – Twitter Facebook YouTube
Lydia X. Z. Brown is a writer, educator, organizer, and speaker. Since 2011, I have blogged on autism, disability activism, and social justice at Autistic Hoya

decipering
Deciphering Morgan – FacebookInstagram
Writer Jessi Cash blogs about being an autistic mother, her life, and her family.

realsocialskills
Real Social Skills – TwitterFacebook
Blogging with a disability-informed perspective on treating ourselves and others well.

smooth
With a Smooth Round Stone
The writings of an award-winning autistic author.


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YouTube Channels

toycollector
Always Lauren Toy Collector Vlogs with Autism
A young autistic woman blogs about her hobby of toy collection.

autisticsen
The Antique Autistic
A self described “autistic senior citizen” vlogs to give advice to younger autistic people. Vlogs also include descriptions of her life as well as her participation in an effort to establish an autistic homesteading community.

askana
Ask An Autistic – Facebook – Twitter – Blog
Amythest Schaber makes videos on what it is like to be autistic. Her series is a wonderful resource of descriptions of autistic experiences and traits.

asperg
Aspergers from the Inside
An autistic Australian man vlogs about his experiences with autism.

autisticadam
Autistic Adam – FacebookTwitter
A young, autistic British man produces vlogs about product reviews, his life in school, and humorous topics.

fangirl
Autistic Asexual Fangirl Adventures – Facebook – Twitter
A woman vlogs about everyday musings and her life.

artistic
The Artistic Autistic – Facebook
Micah is an autistic teen who likes to use his artwork and videos to help spread the message of autism awareness.

autisticbis
Autistic Biscuit
James is young, autistic British man who talks about his life, his experiences including dating and family, and things which interest him.

autisticgamer
Autistic Gamer
A young autistic man vlogs about video games.

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Autistic Genius – Twitter – Facebook
A video blog from a young British autistic man on various aspects of autism including reviews of fidget tools, workplace navigation, and daily life. Note: As of this summer, Autistic Genius has moved most videos to Facebook. Videos are occasionally cross-posted on the YouTube platform.

autismlive
Autism Live – FacebookTwitter
Autism Live is a free resource for the Autism community and the world at large. With live broadcasts on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays and free podcasts on YouTube, iTunes and Roku, Autism Live provides information, resources, hope and inspiration to help autistic individuals achieve progress in areas that are important to them.

autisticnation
Autistic Nation
An autistic writer and poet shares creative works and discusses life.

autisticqueen
Autistic Queen
An autistic woman named Marliegh vlogs about her life and her love of anime.

autistictourist
The Autistic Tourist
A young autistic man vlogs about his travels.

autisticwerewolf
Autistic Werewolf
A vlog of an autistic man who has had more than 50 years of experience living life as autistic. He notes “Life on the autism spectrum has both joys and challenges. My videos attempt to help us maximize the joys so autistic people can better manage their life challenges.”

autismg
Becoming Autistic – Facebook
A young, autistic British woman discusses topics related to autism, including the diagnostic process and navigation of services.

frankie
Frankie MacDonald – FacebookTwitterInstagram
A young, autistic Canadian man in Nova Scotia presents weather reports, comedy videos, and other thoughts.

kirby
Matthew the Autism Guy – Twitter FacebookInstagram
A young autistic man reviews video games and produces comedy videos.

autisticgolfer
Matt Glumac: The Autistic Golfer
An autistic golfer vlogs about golf.

carly
Speechless with Carly FleischmannFacebookTwitter
Autistic writer Carly Fleishmann interviews some of her favorite celebrities through this YouTube channel series.

spolar
Spolar Effect
A young man vlogs about life as autistic.

remrov
Remrov’s World of Autism – Facebook Art Portfolio
Remrov is an autistic photorealistic pencil artists who vlogs to raise awareness about artism and to promote art.


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Twitter Hashtags & Handles

#AutisticsInAcademia – A twitter hashtag for autistic individuals in academia.
#AutChat – A Twitter hashtag for particular autistic twitter chats.
#ActuallyAutistic – A hashtag often used on Twitter by autistic individuals.
#Neurodiversity – A Twitter hashtag often used to discuss autism.

avtwitter
@AutismAdvantage
An effective approach to training and developing quality career positions for autistic people in the IT industry & beyond. 

aascend

The Twitter accound of AASCEND in San Francisco.

jhm
@JHMarble
Global traveler. Former @POTUS44 appointee. @AutismAdvantage advisor. I think about innovation/talent/diversity/systems. Contributor to @NOSEditorial & @BYT.



Public policy student . He/they. LGBTQ & disability advocate. Autistic, black, queer. Arty & nerdy. Blocks Trumpkins. Blocked by Jill Stei

2t

Stage manager of new plays and semi-professional coffee shop lurker.

3t

Writer & advocate for disability justice, #LGBTQ rights, racial justice, education. Disability studies academic.

4t

Professional account of Ph.D student @ , studying . LEND Fellow, writer, photographer & autistic self-advocate. Creator of .

ane
@ANeeman
Disability rights, public policy and Judaism. Directs  and past President of . I spent five years on . Proud Zionist.

alexplank
@AlexPlank
Founder: , the leading autism & Asperger site. Autistic activist, filmmaker, photog & producer. Consulted, acted on FX’s The Bridge.

5t

Founder and President of . Member, PPSA . Former  intern. Former  staff.

6t

Neurocritic. Person. Unschool grad. Disability, autism, fiction, research, homeschooling. Clarion West 2016.

7t

Autistic Mom of autistic teen. Fangirl of Good Science, Revival of Democracy & ‘s . Editor . Kickbutt speaker.

eg
@EricMGarcia
Reporting . insufferable alum. Semi-Retired garage band guitarist. Trying to be in the swamp not of it.

8t

Vice-President of the Autism Women’s Network; views are my own, , ADHD, Disability Studies, artist, writer.

9t

Stunt typist. socially inert. articles on autism, depression.

Ta

Equipping, engaging, guiding Autistic individuals – preparing them for successful careers and lives.

11a

Founder of . TEDx Speaker – Dad – Nice Guy.

11b

Disabled disability advocate, edits . Loves comics.

11c

Senior Editor, Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. +1 = maps + cephalopods.

11d

Autistic activist. Non-compliant. Non-normative. Non-conforming. Disabled and proud.

11e

Writers, bloggers, Public Speakers. Emma’s a patient teacher to a Mom who’s a slow learner.


bikeride1

Hey! Our friend Kenneth is riding his bike this July for 100 miles from Washington, DC to the Atlantic Ocean. He decided to do this on his own to raise awareness and funds to train autistic adults through Autism Advantage. We think that’s awesome and hope you do to. You can support his effort by clicking here. Check it out!


organizationalnetwork

A Key to Success: Self Advocacy

When autistic people hear the term “self awareness” it’s often in being reprimanded for not mirroring neurotypical behavior. In Autism Advantage, we emphasize the actual meaning of the term: understanding who you are and how you operate in this world. If the X-Men has taught us anything, it is that unique traits are needed and necessary. Accepting and understanding who you are as an autistic person allows you to find ways to leverage your autistic traits as an advantage throughout your career.

Understanding who you are as an autistic person also equips you to confidently operate as a self advocate. If you aren’t familiar with the term, self advocacy means that all humans hold the right to speak, and make decisions, for themselves.  Organizations like the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and The Autistic Women’s Network, and publications like NOS Magazine and The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism offer connections to great resources in which you can learn more about self advoacy.

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This week, our Autism Advantage data analytics class welcomed Jessie Wusthoff who helped our participants understand the term more deeply. As a leading thinker in Silicon Valley on workforce planning, organizational development, and disability advocacy, Wusthoff was able to share best practices on how to effectively utilize self advocacy in the workplace.

During her time with our Autism Advantage class, Wusthoff detailed how self advocacy could be applied to secure workplace accommodations that would allow the employee and their employer to succeed. Asking for workplace accommodations can often be difficult for individuals, as the uncertainty of how their request will impact their position in the workplace can produce anxiety. Wusthoff shared that such requests can be anxious for managers as well due to knowledge gaps or inexperience with accommodation requests. By showing our students how accommodations help all parties, and how accommodation requests can be effectively framed, Wusthoff helped prepared our students to be the best employees that can be.

When it comes to accommodations, the truth is that all humans utilize them. It’s just that our society has gotten pretty good at providing them for certain groups of people and not others. Those our society does not consider disabled often don’t realize how society accommodates them over others in their everyday lives. Providing them accommodations (even if unknown) is great. All humans should have the accommodations they need to succeed.  If society has failed to build accommodations for you, it is your right to speak up. We can’t expect others to speak for us. We must speak for ourselves. Be self aware of who you are, including your talents and accommodation needs. Then advocate for them. Self advocacy will only help you and your employer succeed.

Autism Advantage on Twitter:
@AutismAdvantage
@JHMarble

Additional Self Advoacy Experts on Twitter:
@AutSelfAdvocacy
@NOSeditorial
@ThinkingAutism
@ANeeman
@RebeccaCokley


bikeride1

Hey! Our friend Kenneth is riding his bike this July for 100 miles from Washington, DC to the Atlantic Ocean. He decided to do this on his own to raise awareness and funds to train autistic adults through Autism Advantage. We think that’s awesome and hope you do to. You can support his effort by clicking here. Check it out!