Last fall, I met a young adult with Aspergers who lives in the eastern Alabama city of Anniston. He faces a double-edged problem of finding work due to his condition as well as living in one of the most economically depressed areas of the state.
However, he told me about a new reality television series on the A&E Network in which he and his story will be highlighted. The Employables is based off the international series Employable Me that highlights the struggles of those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurological conditions find employment. The goal is to help these particular people find a job.
Employable Me has already been shown in other countries, such as Australia, Canada, and Great Britain and has highlighted the raw emotion of what those with mental conditions have to endure from hundreds of failed job applications to being bullied at work and eventually fired. For example, a story in the Guardian highlights a young man with Autism endures verbal abuse while working as a parking attendant for the Sydney City Government in Australia.
My hope is that not only will my friend be able to find sustainable employment after being on the program, but The Employables will highlight the positives that other people with Autism or Aspergers bring to the table and lead to more companies hiring people on the spectrum. As I have highlighted on my blog before, the unemployment rate for those on the Autism spectrum in the United States is around 75 to 85 percent.
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