INSIDE SOURCES

Matching people with autism to tech jobs in Utah

Sep 5, 2021, 1:28 PM | Updated: 1:28 pm
apartment for adults with autism...
Dignitaries break ground for the 85 North Apartments in Provo on Thursday, March 18, 2021. The seven-story, 74-unit building aims to address the shortage of affordable units for senior citizens, the disabled and adults with autism. ScenicView Academy student Harrison Peterson, right, hopes to move into the apartment building after its completion. Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — People with autism often are a great fit for tech jobs, but they struggle to get through the interview process. A global consulting firm that helps place them in tech-sector jobs has just opened an office in South Salt Lake.

Louise Stone, head of recruitment and community partnerships at Auticon.us, joined Inside Sources on KSL NewsRadio to discuss helping adults on the autistic spectrum find jobs in Utah’s tech sector.

The unemployment rate for adults on the autism spectrum is around 85%.

“If you think about a traditional interview process, it’s a very high stress environment that’s relying on things like eye contact and social interactions, not just on the skills needed for the job that you’re applying for,” Stone said.

Why tech jobs work well for adults on the autism spectrum

Stone first wanted to dispel a stereotype out there that people with autism only excel at tech jobs. 

“I’m autistic myself, and I can’t even code a single line,” said Stone.

She pointed out that there is a large tech-talent gap. That matches up with the high unemployment numbers for adults with autism.

People on the autism spectrum will look at data just for the data, absent biases and preconceived notions, Stone said. She added people with autism do well with repetitive tasks and following a strict routine; people without autism, on the other hand, often feel depleted or burnt out by doing the same thing over and over.

Why Auticon chose Utah for its new office

 There is a higher level of autism in Utah and in the Salt Lake area, she said. 

“It’s one of the highest in the entire country.”

The other reason? The Wasatch Front in general, and the Silicon Slopes area surrounding Lehi specifically, boasts plentiful job opportunities in the tech sector.

“So, it’s a great market to break into,” Stone said.

She added that Auticon designed its job-recruiting process as autism-friendly; the company does no traditional interviews. 

“We lead with a series of chats and also some skills assessments so that we’re really going to get to know our candidate, both . . . their personalities and their needs. We’re also going to get to know their actual skill depth,” Stone said.

Stone said you can contact Auticon.us by sending an email to info@auticon.us.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.  

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Inside Sources

Troy Dunn, founder of the Location Foundation, appears on an episode of Dr. Phil. Photo credit: Des...
Mark Jones

Locator Foundation working to reunite loved ones with one another

The Locator Foundation is working to reunite family members who have become separated from one another and haven't been able to reconnect.
1 day ago
Martin Gold, a visiting scholar with the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, says the Filibuster is critical...
Mark Jones

Filibuster is critical if country is to maintain compromise, expert says

A visiting scholar to the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation told Inside Sources Friday how important the filibuster is to compromise.
1 day ago
FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., pauses during a break in the taping of an interview ...
Mark Jones

Cracks are showing in the coalition of the GOP, according to polling numbers

Recent polling from Schoen Cooperman Research says there may be cracks in the GOP.
3 days ago
Rabbi Avremi Zippel talks to the crowd during halftime of a Jazz-Portland Trail Blazers game at Viv...
Mark Jones

International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Area rabbi shares his thoughts

Rabbi Avremi Zippel joined Inside Sources Friday to discuss International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
8 days ago
savings system right on the money...
Mark Jones

Economists are worried of a recession in 2023, financial expert weighs in

Many economists are fearing a recession in 2023 despite the U.S. economy ending last year better than expected.
9 days ago
BYU study finds we need to stop watering as much as we are....
Mark Jones

Speaker Wilson says Utah legislature is working hard on water issue

SALT LAKE CITY — Prior to the start of the 2023 Utah Legislative Session, it seemed like water would be a popular topic throughout the 45-day session. And a week into the session, that appears to be the case.  House speaker Brad Wilson (R-Kaysville) joined Inside Sources hosted by Maura Carabello and Taylor Morgan to […]
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Matching people with autism to tech jobs in Utah