Innovative software helping young adults with autism gain employment
EDMONTON -- Edmonton-based information tech company Technology North has partnered with Alberta Innovates to develop a management software called RoboCoach, which aims to make it easier for young adults with autism to find work.
RoboCoach helps prospective workers determine how ready they are to join the workforce, and businesses to manage employees with Autistim Spectrum Disorder.
The program also provides web-based and mobile support to employees with the purpose of creating a stable work environment with clear communication.
“When a young person with autism graduates from high school, or college, there are very few opportunities,” CEO Ling Huang said in a statement Tuesday. “They face incredible challenges and very few employment prospects. They essentially fall off a cliff.”
Huang, a father to a son with autism, also created a service to digitize documents, which employs people with ASD.
“Two years ago my son starts working here after high school. My staff called Brian a fish on the wall: he's swinging around the office, no eye contact, doesn't want to talk to anyone. But two years later, you can see he is an active member of the team,” said Huang.
When asked what the best part of his job is, employee Alex Kelsey said, “Other than getting paid to do it? It's simple but at the same time still challenging."
According to Alberta Innovates, between 85 and 90 per cent of autistic children who graduate from high school or college are either unemployed or underemployed.