Autism-Europe (AE) together with its partner from Italy, Denmark and Bulgaria successfully completed the Erasmus+ project Workplace Inclusion and employmeNt opportunities for youth WITH aUtism (WIN-WITH-U). The project ran from 2020 until August 2023 and concluded with two main events at the European Parliament in Brussels and at the LUISS Business School Campus in Rome attracting a large crowd on-site and online. These events were an opportunity to present the online WIN-WITH-U training developed for autistic job seekers and for potential employers.
Autistic people have many abilities that make them competitive candidates for jobs in the world of work. Unfortunately, employers are not always aware of autistic people’s strengths or how to leverage their skills and potential in an employment context. To break entry barriers to the work world for autistic people, raise awareness about autism and improve autistic people’s employment options, Autism-Europe teamed up with project coordinator LUISS Business School, a university from Italy, Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome (also from Italy), the European Center for Quality – ECQ (from Bulgaria) and Specialisterne Foundation (from Denmark).
Together they developed a Learning Methodology and a set of learning modules to improve the inclusion of young autistic adults, which are freely available on an e-learning platform (accessible here). Besides, a training package was created and delivered in the five languages of the project consortium including English, Bulgarian, Italian, Danish and French.
On May 24 2023, under the theme “Building inclusive education and employment for autistic people”, AE organized a side-event to the European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities (EPPD). During this conference hosted by Member of European Parliament (MEP) Chiara Maria Gemma from Italy, WIN-WITH-U project coordinator Nunzio Casalino, Professor at LUISS Business School presented the main project results. He was joined by Specialisterne CEO Carsten Lassen who presented their job coaching scheme for autistic people. AE’s board member Vincent Grimaldi de Puget shared his insights into hiring practices for autistic people.
The final conference of the WIN-WITH-U project to promote the project and discuss workplace inclusion for autistic people took place on July 6 2023, at LUISS Business School in Rome, Italy. Led by Prof Casalino and Prof Giovanni Assenza (from Campus Bio-Medico University) project partners introduced their own work and the project results. Then Italian autistic journalist Gianluca Nicoletti interviewed on different panels various stakeholders involved in fostering inclusion for autistic people and to provide the external perspective of key stakeholders regarding the project results, including employers and government representatives, as well as managers, workplace inclusion initiators and researchers from all across Italy.
About the Erasmus+ Programme
Erasmus+ is the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of €14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad.