NDEAM: Accommodating Employees with Autism Spectrum Disorders

October is National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. To honor NDEAM, I will be taking a break for the month from the Adulting Series and Emphasizing on areas of Employment and Autism. This week, I will be discussing Job Accommodations

People with ASD may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with ASD will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  5. Has the employee been consulted regarding possible accommodations?
  6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  7. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

Accommodation Ideas:

Limitations

Attentiveness/Concentration

  • Products
  • Alternative Lighting
  • Applications (apps)
  • Apps for Concentration
  • Cubicle Doors, Shields, and Shades
  • Desk Organizers
  • Desk Pedal Exercisers
  • Electronic Organizers
  • Environmental Sound Machines / Tinnitus Maskers / White Noise Machines
  • Fidget Devices
  • Focus Enhancement
  • Full Spectrum or Natural Lighting Products
  • Noise Abatement
  • Noise Canceling Earbuds
  • Noise Canceling Headsets
  • Simulated Skylights and Windows
  • Sound Absorption and Sound Proof Panels
  • Sun Boxes and Lights
  • Sun Simulating Desk Lamps
  • Timers and Watches
  • Wall Calendars and Planners
  • Services
  • Job Coaches
  • Strategies
  • Behavior Modification Techniques
  • Color Coded System
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Job Restructuring
  • Marginal Functions
  • Modified Break Schedule
  • Task Flow Chart
  • Task Separation
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely
  • Uniterrupted “Off” Work Time
  • Verbal Cues
  • Worksite Redesign / Modified Workspace
  • Written Instructions

Executive Functioning Deficits

  • Apps for Concentration
  • Apps for Memory
  • Checklists
  • Color Coded System
  • Cubicle Doors, Shields, and Shades
  • Environmental Sound Machines / Tinnitus Maskers / White Noise Machines
  • Extra Time
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Form Generating Software
  • Full Spectrum or Natural Lighting Products
  • Job Coaches
  • Job Restructuring
  • Marginal Functions
  • Memory Software
  • Modified Break Schedule
  • Noise Canceling Earbuds
  • Noise Canceling Headsets
  • On-site Mentoring
  • Recorded Directives, Messages, Materials
  • Reminders
  • Sound Absorption and Sound Proof Panels
  • Speech Recognition Software
  • Sun Boxes and Lights
  • Sun Simulating Desk Lamps
  • Timers and Watches
  • Wall Calendars and Planners
  • Written Instructions

Managing Time

  • Products
  • Applications (apps)
  • Apps for Organization/ Time Management
  • Electronic Organizers
  • Fitness Trackers
  • PDAs, Notetakers, and Laptops
  • Smart Watches
  • Timers and Watches
  • Wall Calendars and Planners
  • Services
  • Job Coaches
  • Strategies
  • Additional Training Time / Training Refreshers
  • Checklists
  • Color-coded Manuals, Outlines, and Maps
  • Color Coded System
  • Extra Time
  • Marginal Functions
  • Reminders
  • Recorded Directives, Messages, Materials
  • Supervisory Methods
  • Support Person
  • Task Flow Chart
  • Task Separation
  • Verbal Cues
  • Written Forms and Prompts
  • Written Instructions

Memory Loss

  • Products
  • Apps for Memory
  • Break Reminder Software
  • Electronic Organizers
  • Form Generating Software
  • Labels/Bulletin Board
  • Medication Reminders
  • Memory Software
  • Notepad or White Board
  • On-Screen “Ruler” / Strip
  • Timers and Watches
  • Wall Calendars and Planners
  • Strategies
  • Additional Training Time / Training Refreshers
  • Checklists
  • Color-coded Manuals, Outlines, and Maps
  • Color Coded System
  • Extra Time
  • Recorded Directives, Messages, Materials
  • Reminders
  • Supervisory Methods
  • Support Person
  • Task Flow Chart
  • Task Separation
  • Verbal Cues
  • Voice Recorders
  • Written Forms and Prompts
  • Written Instructions

Noise Sensitivity

  • Alerting Devices
  • Communicate Another Way
  • Communication Access Technologies
  • Fans
  • Hearing Protection
  • Noise Abatement
  • Noise Canceling Earbuds
  • Noise Canceling Headsets
  • Real-time and Off-line Captioning Services
  • Sound Absorption and Sound Proof Panels
  • Worksite Redesign / Modified Workspace

Organizing/Planning/Prioritizing

  • Products
  • Apps for Organization/ Time Management
  • Desk Organizers
  • Electronic Organizers
  • Ergonomic Equipment
  • Labels/Bulletin Board
  • Note Collection Software and Technology
  • Notepad or White Board
  • Organization Software
  • Timers and Watches
  • Wall Calendars and Planners
  • Workflow Management Software
  • Services
  • Job Coaches
  • Professional Organizers
  • Strategies
  • Additional Training Time / Training Refreshers
  • Checklists
  • Color Coded System
  • Color-coded Manuals, Outlines, and Maps
  • Job Restructuring
  • Marginal Functions
  • On-site Mentoring
  • Organization/Prioritization Skills
  • Recorded Directives, Messages, Materials
  • Reminders
  • Supervisory Methods
  • Task Flow Chart
  • Task Identification
  • Task Separation
  • Written Instructions

Photosensitivity

  • Alternative Lighting
  • Anti-Glare Filters for Fluorescent Lights
  • Anti-Glare/Radiation Filters for Computer Screens
  • Blue Light Filters
  • Cubicle Doors, Shields, and Shades
  • Fluorescent Light Tube Covers
  • Full Spectrum or Natural Lighting Products
  • LED Light Filters
  • LED Lighting
  • Light Filtering Glasses
  • Lighting Gel Filters
  • Non-Fluorescent Lighting
  • Sun/UV Protective Clothing
  • Vehicle Window Tinting and Shades

Respiratory Distress/Breathing Problem

  • Air Cleaners & Purifiers
  • Air Cleaners – Chemical/Odor Removal
  • Air Cleaning Systems
  • Air Purifiers for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Alternative Cleaning Supplies
  • Carpet Alternatives, Sealants, and Sustainable Flooring
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Floor Cleaning/Stripping Products – Chemical Sensitivity
  • Low/No Odor Paints and Stains
  • Masks – Smoke Allergy
  • Odor/Fragrance/Chemical Masks
  • Personal Air Cleaner (Neckworn)
  • Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
  • Respirator Masks
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely

Stress Intolerance

  • Products
  • Apps for Anxiety and Stress
  • Environmental Sound Machines / Tinnitus Maskers / White Noise Machines
  • Fitness Trackers
  • Simulated Skylights and Windows
  • Sun Boxes and Lights
  • Sun Simulating Desk Lamps
  • Services
  • Counseling/Therapy
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Strategies
  • Behavior Modification Techniques
  • Communicate Another Way
  • Complying with Behavior and Conduct Rules
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Instant Messaging and Texting Solutions for Businesses
  • Job Restructuring
  • Marginal Functions
  • Modified Break Schedule
  • On-site Mentoring
  • One-on-One Communication
  • Policy Modification
  • Positive Feedback
  • Supervisory Feedback
  • Supervisory Methods
  • Support Animal
  • Support Person
  • Telepresence
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely

Work-Related Functions

Air Quality/Irritants

  • Air Cleaners & Purifiers
  • Air Cleaners – Chemical/Odor Removal
  • Air Cleaning Systems
  • Air Purifiers for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Alternative Cleaning Supplies
  • Carpet Alternatives, Sealants, and Sustainable Flooring
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Floor Cleaning/Stripping Products – Chemical Sensitivity
  • Low/No Odor Paints and Stains
  • Masks – Smoke Allergy
  • Odor/Fragrance/Chemical Masks
  • Personal Air Cleaner (Neckworn)
  • Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
  • Respirator Masks
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely

Communicate

  • Aide/Assistant/Attendant
  • Behavior Modification Techniques
  • On-site Mentoring
  • Service Animal
  • Verbal Responses

Light

  • Alternative Lighting
  • Anti-Glare Filters for Fluorescent Lights
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Fluorescent Light Tube Covers
  • Full Spectrum or Natural Lighting Products
  • LED Light Filters
  • LED Lighting
  • Lighting Gel Filters
  • Modified Lighting
  • Non-Fluorescent Lighting
  • Personal Visors
  • Simulated Skylights and Windows
  • Sun/UV Protective Clothing
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely
  • Transparent Window Shades
  • UV Protection Shelters
  • Vehicle Window Tinting and Shades

Noise

  • Cubicle Doors, Shields, and Shades
  • Environmental Sound Machines / Tinnitus Maskers / White Noise Machines
  • Fans
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Folding Wall Partitions and Room Dividers
  • Noise Abatement
  • Noise Canceling Headsets
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely

Policies

  • Additional Training Time / Training Refreshers
  • Aide/Assistant/Attendant
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Marginal Functions
  • Modified Break Schedule
  • Periodic Rest Breaks
  • Policy Modification
  • Reassignment
  • Service Animal
  • Supervisory Methods
  • Support Animal
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely

Stress

  • Apps for Anxiety and Stress
  • Behavior Modification Techniques
  • Counseling/Therapy
  • Flexible Schedule
  • Job Restructuring
  • Marginal Functions
  • Modified Break Schedule
  • Monitor Mirrors
  • On-site Mentoring
  • Service Animal
  • Simulated Skylights and Windows
  • Supervisory Methods
  • Support Animal
  • Support Person
  • Telework, Work from Home, Working Remotely
  • Uninterrupted Work Time

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