Inclusive Hiring: Autism and neurodiversity in the workplace, featuring Karen Bopp, BA’92, MSc’95, PhD’06

It is estimated that Canada will experience a labour shortage of close to 2 million workers by 2031 (Miner, 2014). One way for employers to address this issue is to look for growth opportunities among groups who have historically been under-represented in the work force such as the untapped talent pool of persons with disabilities.

This webinar, featuring Karen Bopp, BA’92, MSc’95, PhD’06, will provide an introduction to inclusion in the workplace. The business case for inclusive hiring, and the benefits of hiring persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodiversities will be reviewed. A brief overview of the characteristics of ASD in the workplace will be summarized and myths and stereotypes will be challenged.

Webinar participants will be introduced to common adjustment/accommodation strategies to human resource processes (e.g., recruitment; onboarding; day-to day management and performance feedback) and will be provided with helpful resources to dig deeper into these topics.

About the Speaker

Dr. Karen Bopp is a University of British Columbia alumna with a Bachelors of Arts (1992), a Master of Science (1995) and a Doctorate in Special Education (2006). She is currently the Director of Provincial Outreach at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA) and an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education at UBC.

At CIRCA she is leading a project to create free online resources and training modules for the service sectors of Human Resources and Employment, Physicians, Dental Professionals, and Child Care Providers. Karen has worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related developmental disabilities for over 25 years. Her roles have included Director of a BC Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention program; Instructor in Special Education at UBC; and the positions of Senior Behaviour Consultant, Autism Policy Lead and the Director of Autism Information Services BC in the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. Karen is also a published researcher and a Registered Speech-Language Pathologist in BC.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the core benefits of hiring inclusively and the advantages of an inclusive workplace culture
  • Understand the basics of the presentation of autism spectrum disorder in the workplace – address common myths and stereotypes
  • Understand that most adjustments on the job (aka accommodations) are simple and inexpensive.

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