Success Factors Enabling Employment for Adults on the Autism Spectrum from Employers’ Perspective

  • Jessica Dreaver
  • Craig Thompson
  • Sonya Girdler
  • Margareta Adolfsson
  • Melissa H. Black
  • Marita FalkmerEmail author


Employment outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are poor and there is limited understanding on how best to support individuals with ASD in the workplace. Stakeholders involved in the employment of adults with ASD, including employers and employment service providers have unique insights into the factors influencing employment for this population. Organisational and individual factors facilitating successful employment for adults with ASD across Australia and Sweden were explored, including the supports and strategies underpinning employment success from an employers’ perspective. Three themes including Knowledge and Understanding of ASD, Work Environment and Job Match emerged, suggesting that a holistic approach was key to supporting success, with employer knowledge and understanding of ASD underpinning their ability to facilitate employment.


Autism Competitive employment Employment outcomes Vocational support 



The authors would like to acknowledge the participants who took part in this research.

Author Contributions

CT, SG and MF conceptualised the study. JD undertook data collection and data analysis. JD drafted the manuscript with CT, SG, MA, MB and MF. All authors contributed to the interpretation of results, reviewed the manuscript critically and approved the final version.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study complied with the Helsinki Declaration (World Medical Association 2008) and ethical approval was obtained by the Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HR 16/2014), Perth Western Australia. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants and all names have been changed for confidentiality reasons.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study. Participants were provided with information outlining the aims and procedures of the study prior to providing written informed consent to participate and informed of their ability to withdraw from the study at any point without the provision of justification or prejudice.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Dreaver
    • 1
    • 2
  • Craig Thompson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sonya Girdler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Margareta Adolfsson
    • 3
  • Melissa H. Black
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marita Falkmer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Curtin Autism Research GroupCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.CHILD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, School of Education and CommunicationJönköping UniversityJönköpingSweden

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