Autism Insight: Autism Awareness Week and ACSE employment support activity in Sheffield

A ‘working’ future for adults with Autism in Sheffield

April 1st to 7th 2019 is World Autism Awareness Week and this is to raise awareness of autism. There are over 7000,000 people with Autism in the UK.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects the way a person communicates and relates to others and the world around them.  

A few facts about Autism

  • A person with Autism may struggle with communication, imagination and socialisation.  Each person’s Autism affects them in their own unique way, and they may have difficulties in one or two of the above areas, or in all three in some cases.
  • It is classed as a ‘spectrum disorder’, which means that some people with Autism may struggle more than others.
  • Some people may have accompanying learning difficulties or a learning disability, and some may also have other conditions alongside their Autism which may impact further on their ability to learn and develop.
  • Asperger’s Syndrome is a form of Autism; someone with Asperger’s will be of average intelligence or above.
  • Autism is a hidden disability, so it is hard to recognise especially as some people learn to ‘mask’ their disability initially – sometimes it is only as they become more comfortable that their Autism may start to show more.
  • With the right support and encouragement, individuals can lead independent lives and many develop coping strategies which enable them to function in many different situations.
  • Awareness has is constantly improving, with many large retailers and organisations adapting their businesses to be more ‘Autism-friendly’ – some stores will offer shopping times where sensory levels are adapted (e.g. lower lighting, less noise) and some cinemas have also launched Autism-friendly viewings.
  • We are currently working in partnership with the National Emergency Services Museum to offer ‘sensory friendly’ days – the launch of this being 2nd April to tie in with Autism Awareness Day.  These will then be held on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • More information on how Autism affects an individual along with strategies to help support can be found on our website, www.ac4se.org.  We also have links to many other local services and resources.

Who are we and how can we help?

The Autism Centre for Supported employment is a small charity located in Sheffield city centre.  We have been around for 17 years, and continue to grow and develop.

We are a small team of four, and our aim is to support clients with Autism, Asperger’s and learning disabilities into employment.  We are currently part-funded by Opportunity Sheffield, and have worked with the Council for a number of years.

Many clients we work with are a long way from the job market, whereas others may already be in employment when they first come to us.

We have a very person-centred approach, and treat each client as an individual not just a job outcome.  We are led by the individual and will work at their pace.

We work to build confidence, step by step – initially clients will go on a three-month work experience placement (half a day per week) with full support for as long as needed.  We step back and encourage independence only when our client is ready for this. 

We liaise closely with employers to develop each individual, and also provide ongoing support to the employer as well as delivering Autism awareness training and advice on reasonable adjustments in the workplace.

Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees. A reasonable adjustment is a change or adjustment unique to a person’s needs that will support them to do their job.

Equality Act 2010

Once a client is job-ready, we offer one to one support to develop their CV. 
We support through job searching and applying for jobs, and provide interview skills training when interviews are secured. 

Reasonable adjustments can be negotiated for interview and for in their new employment, and we then provide ongoing advice and support for both client and employer once in long-term paid work.

We have some amazing clients who have overcome many barriers and challenges to get to where they are, and we would just like to say a big thank you to each of these individuals for helping make our charity what it is today.

ACSE information

Address: Autism Centre for Supported Employment, Office 0-3-13, Courtwood House, Silver Street Head, Sheffield, S1 2DD

Reg Charity Number: 1068541

Centre Manager: Glynis Beck

Employment Coordinator: Jayne Hurdley 

Contact details                                                          

Tel: 07399 122268 / 07399 122305/ 07792 370485

Email:autism.centre@yahoo.co.uk