Autistic Adults Conquer Dire Employment Picture

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EnCircle Technologies (encircletech.org) has launched an Indiegogo (http://www.igg.me/at/encircle) campaign to raise $10,000 for the technology training and scholarship needs of Missouri autistic adults.

The class of autistic students "are talented adults."--Teri Walden, co-founder of EnCircle Technologies

Scanning the headlines is grim for adults with autism.

"Tough future for young adults on the autism spectrum.”

“One in three autistic young adults lack jobs, education.”

“Young adults on the autism spectrum face tough prospects.”

The bleak future drove two mothers of autistic sons to do something about this stark reality.

The two founded EnCircle Technologies (http://www.encircletech.org) in Columbia, MO.

With seven students and more coming this fall, the enthusiastic startup has launched an Indiegogo campaign (igg.mee/at/encircle) to raise $10,000 for:

  • Computer hardware and software
  • Daily operations
  • Student scholarships

Beyond the coveted funds, the program founders want to bring awareness throughout the U.S. that autistic adults can have a bright future with educational opportunities.

Because of several common autistic characteristics, students have what it takes to work with computers: high levels of interest, often an ability to hyper-focus on detailed work and cognitive strengths such as exceptional memory or artistic ability.

However, like any group of individuals, their students are diverse.

The Columbia students undertake a defined course of study in order to learn programming, webpage development, office essentials skills, and database administration. For example, classes like JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Excel,
Linux, WordPress are offered at EnCircle.

“We want our students to go to businesses and say they have a really good foundation and some developing skills in the technical area,” says Llorens.

To get ready for the business world, students get training in resume-writing and interviewing skills, along with lessons in communication and teamwork.

“They are talented adults,” says Walden of her students. “They just need a different learning mode and consideration sometime.”

She adds that it is EnCircle’s hope to encourage communities around the world to look into training programs for young adults with autism in their communities.

“It’s important not only for our community but also for the whole country. Our students are a microcosm of something larger. The students learn that hard work and workplace skills will open many doors.”

To donate to the EnCircle Technologies campaign, click EnCircle Indiegogo campaign (http://www.igg.me/at/encircle).

EnCircle Technologies is a self-supporting technology training program for adults on the autism spectrum. Based in Columbia, MO, the organization prepares its students to find technology-related jobs among a group which is 75 percent unemployed. To learn more visit: http://www.encircletech.org.

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Teri Walden

Becky Llorens
@WieheMark
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