Reflections on work and autism

Damian Milton stands in front of his poster presentation at a conference. He is wearing a black hoodie and black t shirt with a yellow logo.Inasmuch as no two people are alike, no two autistic people are alike – after all, we are all neurodiverse in one way or another. Damian Milton (pictured) uses his own life experience to uncover the challenges of seeking and maintaining paid employment. His PowerPoint presentation is an overview of an upcoming chapter, Employment: a reflective view. The key points are that with the right support, autistic people have much to contribute, and Milton is no exception having self funded his PhD. He is becoming well known in autism circles and has added much valuable knowledge to this body of work. You can also read an interview with Milton that provides some insights into his work.

For anyone interested in Damian’s work you can follow him on Twitter

Editor’s note: I discovered Milton’s chapter earlier in the week, but when I went back to retrieve it I found it was no longer available. However, I the part I read was very interesting and written in a very readable way. In fact it is interesting reading for anyone – just a great story. 


Age? What’s that got to do with it?

a picture of people waling in different directions but blurredA new report by Per Capita about employment and older people advises that stereotyping, even if positive, is still stereotyping and not helpful for employers. Indeed, the report reminds us that ageism can be applied to any age group, but more recently it has been captured in policy agendas as a term belonging older people. The research for the report, “What’s Age Got to Do With It?“, was carried out by Philip Taylor* and Warwick Smith. The report challenges some of the notions in the Willing to Work report by the Human Rights Commission. It also suggests that ageing advocates might like to rethink some of their messages.

per capita logo in orange and blue with fighting inequality in Australia“Age-based stereotypes (such as loyal, reliable, wise) are often used by older people’s advocates but recent research has shown that these stereotypes may be reinforcing already existing negative views of older workers among employers because these are not the traits they are primarily looking for in employees. This has potentially important implications for efforts to overcome age discrimination by employers. Not only are older workers being promoted in terms of qualities that employers are already more likely to ascribe to them, such qualities are given a lower weighting in terms of employment decisions that take account of productivity.”

The New Daily and Crikey posted articles based on the report. The full report can be downloaded from the Per Capita website.

*Professor Philip Taylor is a Director of CUDA