Chicago based AutonomyWorks employs young adults with autism

AutonomyWorksAutonomyWorks, Chicago – David Friedman is founder and CEO of AutonomyWorks, a company that employs adults with autism. David has a 19 year old son Matt, who is on the autistic spectrum. The company was founded in 2012 and David had one mission, he wanted to create thousands of job opportunities for individuals with autism and for those individuals with other disabilities.

Autism Daily Newscast contacted Karrie Pece, the Director of Talent for the company who is in charge of all things related to the Associates and employees. Karrie is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and has spent more than a decade helping individuals with disabilities successfully transition into competitive employment.

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“At AutonomyWorks, it is our goal to employ as many individuals with autism and, disabilities as possible. We do this by focusing on abilities, not disabilities. Everything from our work processes to our office environment is designed with intentionality and with the purpose of helping our Associates to be successful. Over the past year, we have proven to our clients that our Associates are not only equal to their current solutions, but superior; they are faster, more accurate, and highly productive.”

Karrie informed us that the company provides Process Execution roles such as website maintenance, data cleansing and quality assurance that is for companies of all shapes and sizes. Many companies currently outsource or offshore this work, and AutonomyWorks offers an onshore, cost competitive, higher quality solution. The individuals employed need basic computer skills, attention to detail, and an affinity for repetitive tasks.

The individuals who are employed are known as Associates and they are empowered by working in their area of expertise.

AutonomyWorks state that:

‘We provide our Associates with a custom-designed working environment that is optimally suited to their unique needs. Associates also receive occupational therapy, job coaching, social and life skills training in the workplace. We have a sensory room onsite and have set up our office environment to provide the structure many individuals with autism need to be successful. We work with our Associates to track their performance and identify opportunities for additional training, expanded responsibility, intrinsic and financial rewards.’

AutonomyWorks3AutonomyWorks currently employs 20 part-time Associates who each work several 4- to 8-hour shifts a week. Associates over time become more independent and self-confident in their work.

‘Their dedication, enthusiasm and pride grow daily as they master new skills and advance in their careers.’

It is the company’s goal to create a 300 person service centre in Chicago during the next few years, and further expand to create service centres in many major markets across the US.

David’s son, Matt, was diagnosed with autism age three, and it was in 2009, when Matt was 14, during a “transition planning” meeting that David wondered how Matt was going to support himself when he finished high school. This then led David to creating the business that would support his son and other young people with autism.

David has used the talents that people with autism have such as pattern memory, to extreme focus and accuracy and has used these skills to utilise his business.

Phillip Griffin, who is employed by AutonomyWorks, was featured in an abc News article. During the two week try out process Phillip had to prove that he could build test websites, of which he was successful.

Phillip told during the interview:

“Well, it involves computers. I love the step-by -step process. I like the office environment.”

AutonomyWorks was the winner of the 2013 Chicago Innovation Awards
More information about AutonomyWorks can be found on their website here