by ADN

June 18, 2014

Y’s Owl Maclure Co-operative Centre, Ottawa, CanadaY’s Owl Maclure Co-operative Centre, Ottawa, Canada – Suzanne Ford is director of services for the charitable organization and her role is to work with people with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

She told CBC News that her organization has been invited in to government departments including Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada to provide employment support.

She told that issues often include, a worker’s social awkwardness and poor communication skills but that usually there s an explanation.

“It never surprises me when the person has Asperger’s Syndrome, chances are they may or may not know themselves. Their employer does not know.”

She also told that sometimes people on the spectrum do not realise that you are angry with them as they cannot read social cues.

“By the time we get called in, it’s crisis. I would much prefer do community awareness at the beginning before there’s a problem.”

Jordan Edwards has Asperger’s Syndrome, has worked on several federal government contracts and is now underemployed working as a receptionist. He has a university degree and a college diploma and he never understood why his contracts weren’t renewed. He told employers about his disability but he explained that he doesn’t think people fully understand the anxiety that goes with it.

CBC news reports that Government managers said they’re noticing a growing number of workers with invisible disabilities.

Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, employers have a duty to accommodate people with any form of disability.

Supriya Edwards, chief of labour relations at Statistics Canada has seen an increase in the number of people with invisible disabilities in the workforce.

“We’re learning as we go. We need to be aware of it. We need to pay attention and we need work with those emloyees,”

The original article by Julie Ireton on the CBC News Ottawa website can be read here

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