Enabling Academy: Autism Awareness Seminar 2019
12 Apr 2019 | Gamuda Berhad

Earlier this week, in conjunction with World Autism Month, Enabling Academy held an Autism Awareness Seminar. 

Professors Dan Goodley and Katherine Runswick-Cole from the University of Sheffield, along with Keith Bates from Mutually Exclusive, United Kingdom, were invited to share their experiences and perspectives in providing training, job guidance and support for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

“The fact that you have an Enabling Academy, there is something unique here. As researchers, we can draw upon this business practice to then shine light on the good practices and offer the language of articulating the positives,” said Prof Dan Goodley.

He then went on to discuss how the progress of diversity programmes in the UK were also positive; since gender, race and disability were represented in anti-discriminatory legislation such as the Equality Act.

However, he mentioned that there is still a gap between policy and practice among businesses when hiring, very much like what we face here.

Keith Bates then went on to point out the common practices between UK and Malaysia, which is supported employment.

The context of it is that employment of people living with autism becomes a human resource matter instead of a CSR project. 

“That’s when we then stop calling them outcomes and start calling them jobs.”

Self-employment was also discussed as a strong possibility for ASD individuals.

The flexibility of pace and location can be a more appropriate setting, especially for those working with issues of mobility.

In Malaysia, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and police force are working together to formulate separate standard operating procedures.

This will better improve employers’ ability to handle cases where the person involved has neuro-developmental differences.

In support of our government’s initiatives to improve their processes, Enabling Academy plays a crucial role in creating awareness and acceptance, sharing best practices and improving the status quo for people living with ASD.

As we move forward, we have hope that our commitment thus far will see more future partnerships with companies that will provide sustainable employment for young adults living with ASD.

About Enabling Academy: In 2013, Gamuda launched Project Differently-Abled (Project DA). Since then, 20 employees with autism have been employed. This success inspired us to establish the Enabling Academy, aimed at preparing more people with autism for gainful sustainable employment. The Enabling Academy conducts and places young adults with autism into companies that embrace diversity and inclusion in their workforce.