Social Inclusion and Social-Technical Issues (SIG SI)

Paper Type

Complete

Paper Number

1187

Description

More technology organizations have turned to autistic people to meet their talent needs the creation of autism-specific hiring programs. Despite the potential of such programs, early research indicates that autistic employees and their neurotypical coworkers face communication challenges due to pronounced differences in styles and preferences. These difficulties lead to breakdowns in communication, collaboration, and coordination which can leave autistic employees feeling isolated and stigmatized. To increase the knowledge and improve attitudes of neurotypical employees about autism, we created and evaluated a training module for neurotypical employees about effectively communicating with their autistic colleagues, thus flipping the traditional burden to adapt from autistic workers to their non-autistic colleagues. Our formative results show that people who took the course increased their knowledge about their own and the communication styles and preferences of autistic people. They acquired skills on how to negotiate these style differences before engaging in conversations with their colleagues.

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Aug 9th, 12:00 AM

Inclusive Interpersonal Communication Education for Technology Professionals

More technology organizations have turned to autistic people to meet their talent needs the creation of autism-specific hiring programs. Despite the potential of such programs, early research indicates that autistic employees and their neurotypical coworkers face communication challenges due to pronounced differences in styles and preferences. These difficulties lead to breakdowns in communication, collaboration, and coordination which can leave autistic employees feeling isolated and stigmatized. To increase the knowledge and improve attitudes of neurotypical employees about autism, we created and evaluated a training module for neurotypical employees about effectively communicating with their autistic colleagues, thus flipping the traditional burden to adapt from autistic workers to their non-autistic colleagues. Our formative results show that people who took the course increased their knowledge about their own and the communication styles and preferences of autistic people. They acquired skills on how to negotiate these style differences before engaging in conversations with their colleagues.