By Corey Walker
Despite being more than eighteen months since its publication online, Worktopia’s Success in the Workplace Employer Toolkit: Strategies from Autistic Employees is still having an impact on people.
The toolkit, which was first published online in the Spring of 2021, provides employers with practical, autistic-approved strategies for supporting autistic employees in the workforce. I had the privilege and honour of being the toolkit’s primary author and proudly led the team of autistic employees, employment service providers, HR professionals and more that reviewed the toolkit’s content for usefulness and provided direction to the project.
To my surprise, in August of this year, I received an email that I had been nominated for a 2022 Untapped Workplace Inclusion Award as an individual champion, in recognition of the work I did leading the toolkit project.
The Untapped Awards are a joint initiative of three organizations: Open Door Group, BC’s largest non-profit employment services provider; the President’s Group, a group of BC employers committed to providing an accessible workplaces; and BC Partners in Workforce Innovation, an organization that connects disabled job seekers with inclusive employers.
On September 27, 2022 I had the honour of attending the Untapped awards ceremony at the luxurious Parq Hotel in downtown Vancouver. It was a very prestigious event with over 200 people in attendance, including award nominees, inclusive employers, and other movers and shakers from across BC.
There were a total of eighteen nominees in my category, each with an impressive list of accomplishments that earned them their nomination. Unfortunately, despite my hopes and the hopes of my nominee, Trish Kelly of Open Door Group, I was not one of the top three finalists for the award. But, despite not winning, I still feel like a winner because it was an honour just to be nominated.
I am pleased that more than a year after its initial publication, the Success in the Workplace Employer Toolkit is still being recognized as a unique and much-needed resource for inclusive employers looking to attract, recruit and hire autistic employees. I want to thank The Sinneave Family Foundation for their ongoing support of the project.
If you haven’t reviewed the toolkit yet, I encourage you to do so. It’s free and available for viewing and downloading at worktopia.ca