If you haven’t heard of the term ‘resource cliff,’ I bet you’ve experienced it. The resource cliff refers to the plethora of age-appropriate resources that are available to support young children, elementary age kids and even high schoolers with autism.

However, for autistic high school students who go on to college, graduate school, or employment, many of those resources evaporate. There are still great tools out there, but it falls on the shoulders of the student to seek them out and take advantage of those tools.

So today, we’re talking about one of my favorite employment tools for adults with autism – the Job Accommodation Network.

What are employers’ responsibilities to adults with disabilities?

Adults with disabilities are entitled to protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For individuals with official, documented diagnoses “The ADA covers private employers with 15 or more employees, as well as state and local government employers no matter how many workers they employ. This means that covered employers may not discriminate against qualified workers with disabilities and must provide “reasonable accommodations when necessary to ensure equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”

What is JAN?

Because the ADA is a federal law, the federal government provides several important free resources, including the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), to help employers and individuals understand their rights and responsibilities under the ADA. JAN provides information on a variety of disabilities. Let’s take a look at the Autism resources:

  • Diagnosis
  • Potential limitations
  • Tools to accommodate limitations
  • Advice for employers and employees and how to broach the subject of accommodations

Download the JAN publication on Autism here.

How should I use JAN?

First, search the JAN database for your diagnosis and review the information. Many of the most common questions are addressed here.

If you are unable to find a publication or other online resource to help with your specific question or need, JAN also provides consultants for various disabilities, including Autism. You can contact these consultants by phone or email through the Ask JAN tools. And did I mention that all of these resources are free?

If you’re looking for more specific information to guide workplace conversations, we’ve created a helpful guide to navigate autism in the workplace. Fill out this quick form to get the free guide!