(c) 2017 Autism and Neurodiversity Toolkit - All Rights Reserved

General Considerations

  • Try to ensure the job description aligns to the job and doesn’t include skills or qualifications that the applicant doesn’t need. Look at the actual skills of the present workforce.

  • Print job application forms and other written materials in Arial, Comic Sans Serif or other legible fonts – font size 12+

  • Avoid printing forms on bright white or dark paper.

  • Have online applications (with no handwritten letter necessary). Provide a space on the form for the applicant to record what adjustments they may require.

  • Provide the options to complete forms over the phone.

  • Provide written/visual instructions on how to use equipment – keep these handy by the piece of equipment.

  • Create a list of appropriate abbreviations, acronyms and subject specific vocabulary relating to your work setting e.g. for horticulture – hoe, divot, lawnmower etc.

  • Consider the format of information that you provide is accessible e.g. online- this allows it to be read by text to speech readers; can read in a larger font etc.

  • Try to ensure the job description aligns to the job and doesn’t include skills or qualifications that the applicant doesn’t need. Look at the actual skills of the present workforce and see what they are doing. Does the job really need good communication skills or high levels of literacy?

  • Avoid language which is complex. 

  • Keep communication short, clear and direct to avoid confusion. 

  • Avoid using metaphors, sarcasm and abstract language.

  • ​Engaging individual’s in their area of interest in a particular area or strengths in certain tasks, can be a way of considering what best use of skills are, improve productivity whilst also keeping them highly motivated.

  • Allow the individual to have access to a workplace mentor; this would be a named person they could go to about written and unwritten rules of the workplace and also to discuss things they don’t understand or have concerns about.​

  • Appreciate the anxiety levels may be hidden but can have a massive impact on an individual’s productivity and ability to manage at work. Change in work/line managers can make a difference to well-being.

  • Provide as much predictability and structure to their working week as possible so that they understand what is going to happen and what is expected of them.

  • Provide regular, clear and constructive feedback; often it is hard for someone with Autism to judge for themselves how well they are doing or if they need to improve in any area so this is vital in helping someone understand their performance and how it relates to the expectations you have as an employer.

  • Try not to overwhelm someone with information, try to break things down as much as possible and allow someone time to process what has been said. If you are giving verbal information/instruction, back this up in writing so that the individual is able to refer back to.