The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2018-05-21T09:28:52Z Beating the statistics and giving people with autism better job opportunities 2018-05-21T09:28:52Z beating-the-statistics-and-giving-people-with-autism-better-job-opportunities Not-for-profit organisation, Abundance College Inc is calling upon the local community to help raise much-needed funds to support those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Abundance College works with autistics to provide ongoing support and assistance with the transition into employment and adulthood through training and education. In Australia, it’s estimated that one in 100 people have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this almost 230,000 Australians. Out of all the adults on the autism spectrum, over 55 percent of them are either unemployed or underemployed and Abundance College wants to change this statistic. To do this, they have the vision to start Brisbane's first autism spectrum disorder-specific social enterprise. As part of this social enterprise, training facilities will be set up to help those with autism to be job ready. As part of the training, upon completion, students have the opportunity to be offered paid employment to match their social skills, interests and strengths within the college. To provide these facilities, Abundance College needs the help of the community to raise around $20,000 to make their vision and goals a reality. To achieve this funding, Abundance College has set up a fundraising page for anyone to make a contribution. “Part of my role requires meeting with local businesses to request for unpaid work placement, assist with the collaboration of environmental demands and support people with autism so they have better opportunities with gaining skills and experience. I found there are few employers prepared to support this opportunity for several reasons, including the inability and flexibility to provide innovative training. As a mother of an autistic teenager, it hits home when reaching out to these employers and being rejected, because I know my own son can achieve more than he can express, he built his first ever computer at the age of five, but telling this to an employer is not enough to persuade them of the abilities many autistics already possess. Seeing accomplishments from a different perspective is a rewarding experience, and when my students take the steps to success, I can feel it in my heart the pleasure they radiate. Teaching people with autism spectrum disorder provides me with opportunities that I never imagined before,” said Kylie Dawson, CEO Abundance College Inc. As part of the training centre, a cafe and many retail stores will be built as functioning businesses and with this will be employment opportunities for the autistic students at the college. All these businesses will be open to the public and the cafe will also accommodate dietary requirements - a common symptom of people with autism to have digestive issues and food intolerances. The funds Abundance College wish to raise will assist with the refurbishment of the building to give state of the art facilities and people with autism the best opportunity in the workplace. This new building will contain multiple other services including a calming room, offices spaces for professionals such as psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and paediatricians, who follow the core objectives of helping people with autism spectrum disorder. In support of all the other features, the new building will provide various classrooms to train multiple subjects to students including innovation, design and administration to support other planned projects for the future. “My son Clay was part of Abundance College's first step to success course. I was so impressed with Kylie's knowledge, passion and commitment that I immediately offered to volunteer to help in any way she needed. This is a first as far as I know, a program for autistic adults and young adults to transition into employment with a lot of support along the way. This has to succeed," said Laura Lewis, mother of a student at Abundance College.  Across the East Brisbane region, Abundance College has multiple locations providing services to those with autism. However, these different locations hinder the performance of autistics, so providing a single location for training will remove the barrier of needing to become familiar with new surroundings. Autism is classified as a mental condition, present from early childhood and being on the spectrum makes it difficult to communicate, form relationships and to use language as well as form abstract concepts. Abundance College wants to give those with ASD the best opportunity to live a successful life, to gain a great work ethic and to show employers how beneficial it is to have someone with ASD as part of their working team. Those with ASD are extremely optimistic, have a great attention to detail, are extremely dedicated, are rarely late or miss work and operate well in structured environments, which are all great characteristics to have in the workplace. But the statistics show that employers don't understand the great qualities those with autism. With 81 percent of all high school graduates not continuing their education or obtaining a job within two years of their high school graduation, it is a key stat to suggest employers need more education on those with autism. Now is time to take action and decrease those statistics. Abundance College is the leaders in providing those with ASD a chance with employment opportunities, but they need the help of the local community to get these facilities up and running. Donating today will go a long way in helping for a better future. The fundraising page closes on Monday, June 25. - END -