In the Autistic Voices Project, Part 1, 30 Autistic participants shared their employment experience in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, of the 30 participants, only 7 provinces were represented, with no participants located in northern areas or in the territories of Canada. Furthermore, there was a limited representation of persons identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), racialized, or as recent immigrant or as refugee.
Building on the success of the first iteration of the project, the Autistic Voices Project, Part 2, Autism Alliance of Canada interviewed an additional 10 participants with intersectional identities, to showcase the employment experiences of underrepresented populations within the Autistic community in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the completed interviews, key clips were selected to be added to the published videos centering on the following themes:
- Job search
- Benefits and opportunities
- Challenges and Barriers
- Mental health
- Advice for employers
In addition to highlighting the experiences of Autistic persons in Canada, this project showcases the vast diversity within the Autistic community by shedding light on how the intersectionality of each person’s unique identity has impacted their employment experiences during COVID-19. We hope that Increased knowledge of barriers faced by Autistic job seekers and employees will encourage employers to move towards fostering inclusive practices in the workplaces, recognizing that barriers to employment may be further compounded by the intersection of identities of an Autistic person.