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(Canada) Quebec: Govt to spend $2.7M on training autistic adults for jobs

May 29, 2023, UK Saxon: More than 3.6 million [$2.7M] for people with autism in the labor market

Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Employment Minister Kateri Champagne Jourdain encourages employers to do “more room for inclusion and diversity in their workplace”.

Québec is releasing more than $3.6 million to support the integration and retention of people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first ten projects to benefit from this envelope were unveiled on Monday morning and will share approximately 1.2 million.

The Minister of Employment, Kateri Champagne Jourdain, made the announcement in Montreal at the premises of the organization Autisme Sans Limites, which offers various programs to promote the social inclusion of young adults with high functioning autism.

Among the initiatives selected, seven will have a scope across Quebec and three will be concentrated in the Montreal region. The biggest chunk of the 1.2 million is Montreal-based Neuro Plus. With a grant of approximately $343,000, it will be able to deploy two initiatives, including one aimed at training future technicians specializing in networking. “Job offers will be offered later in the field of cybersecurity. This is a first in Canada,”said the CAQ minister at a press conference.

The other projects supported are, among others, the production of a podcast dealing with the employment integration of people living with an ASD, the development of a tool for assessing the employability factors of autistic clients, the creation a guide on communication between autistic and non-autistic people in the workplace, as well as the development of awareness tools for employers.

In a context of labor shortage, the CAQ minister stressed the importance of “calling on all talents, including those furthest from the labor market”. “We must not only give people living with an autism spectrum disorder all the tools to fulfill themselves through employment, but also encourage employers to make more room for inclusion and diversity in their environment. of work,” Ms. Champagne Jourdain said.There is still a certain ignorance of autism, which occasionally leads to “misunderstandings” among employers, while people living with ASD sometimes have difficulty with social skills, says Lise-Marie Gravel, the president d'Autisme Sans Limites, based in the southwest of the Quebec metropolis.

His organization will obtain from Quebec a little more than $140,000 to allow the deployment on a larger scale of an experimented initiative of first in the form of pilot projects, “Studios”, which help young adults with autism to find and keep a job thanks to personalized support….

As soon as these young people arrive in companies, the perception of employers changes, notes Ms. Gravel. “The most common comment I get is, 'Oh my god they don't look autistic!' As if there was a way to be or look autistic. …


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