When Emily R. Taylor of Emily R. Taylor, Attorney PLLC was facing a large-scale planning project and needed to hire someone to handle it, someone who could create databases, process files, scan items into their correct files and more, she knew just who to reach out to.
As an attorney who offers elder law, special needs and estate planning services, and a member of the Professional Advisory Council with Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), Taylor reached out to Fiona Falbo, who handles the Employment Partners program at SARRC.
“I reached out to Fiona and said I was interested in being an Employment Partner,” Taylor shares.
The Perfect Fit—SARRC’s Employment Services
At SARRC, there are two programs designed to help increase employment for those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The Employment Services program was created for those ages 18-plus with ASD, and designed to build job skills via vocational assessments, social and adaptive skills training, and trial work opportunities and internships. A clinician works as a job coach, and can attend job interviews with clients, help with the onboarding process to a job, and be an ongoing resource for both program participants and the companies they work for.
Then, local and national companies work with SARRC as an Employment Partner, providing a way to increase employment opportunities for those with ASD.
SARRC tries to match companies with their client’s skills, first looking at Employer Partner opportunities, and then to other companies as needed.
Finding a Match
“I related what skills we needed and that the position was for a part-time scanning clerk,” Taylor says. “SARRC sent Todd to interview.”
As a client of the program, Todd brought Erin, the SARRC clinician working with him as his job coach, to both of the in-person interviews.
“The first interview was to talk about the job and the second was to demonstrate the tasks he’d be doing and to meet everyone in the office,” Taylor explains.
He was hired and, “He took to the job right away and did a great job,” she says.
Erin was there, too, on his first day, to help both Todd and the staff at Emily R. Taylor with any questions, concerns or teaching needed.
“Actually, SARRC came in and did a training on autism with my staff, which was really helpful. I picked up some tips and tricks, too,” Taylor says. “They’ve also checked in with us a few times to see how everything is going and have been by to visit.”
He Just Needed a Chance
It’s now been four months since Todd became a member of the staff. It’s a part-time position, though Taylor says she hopes there’s an option for him to do more.
“I think that the community runs into a situation where there’s preconceived notions or hesitancies on the initial hurdles, but my experience has been that once we’ve gotten over just getting started, there’s been nothing holding him back. He’s doing a great job.
“Todd’s got an amazing background in math and science and he’s really bright and sharp. This job is just a way to get him started in getting into the workforce," Taylor says. "He can now take this experience on to the right job that he’s more suited for, he just needed a chance.”