Originally published: July 21, 2016
The benefits and challenges of employing people with Asperger's have been explored in a new research project by Nottingham Business School, which questioned managers, human resources specialists and employees.
Senior lecturer in Human Resource Management, Anne Cockayne, conducted in-depth interviews with line managers of Asperger's employees and human resources specialists and employees at six organisations, including Rolls Royce, Center Parcs and HMRC.
Responses firstly showed that many managers were unaware of the prevalence of Asperger's – a hidden and non-visible disability - which can present as frequently as one in 200 of their employed workforce, possibly with greater occurrence in particular skill areas.
Anne, who has carried out the research for her PhD, commented: "Little is known about Asperger's in an employment context as it is traditionally hard to gain access to question employees and employers on this issue because the condition is so often undisclosed. It is difficult, if not impossible, for employers to know how many people in their organisations have autism or Asperger's, partly because those with a diagnosis are not obliged to disclose, may chose not to disclose, or simply may not know they have it."