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I am not a unicorn: stop hiring autistic people for the wrong reasons

Believe me, I want you to hire autistic people. As an autistic job seeker myself, I can tell you that it’s pretty tough out here. I’ve been searching for 2.5 years now with no success. The job market is a minefield of myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings for autistic people and our unemployment rate is abysmal. A recent study found that here in Australia, 31.6% of autistic people are unemployed — a rate that is 3 times that for people with disabilities in general and is almost 6 times the unemployment rate for people who do not have a disability. That said, hiring autistic people for all the wrong reasons is just as bad as not hiring us at all. I’d love to find a job, but the employment of autistic people has to be sustainable, meaningful and ethical. From my perspective as just one autistic voice — because I don’t speak for an entire community — here are three reasons that should not be driving your decision to hire autistic people.
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World-first report: Research reveals inclusive design can expand customer reach fourfold

Research commissioned by Centre for Inclusive Design, Adobe and Microsoft shows applying inclusive design adds financial, economic and social benefits for Australian organisations
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A friendly face for low vision airport travellers

Having a disability and travelling interstate or overseas can be very overwhelming. Airports are busy places bustling with people getting to their next destination or returning home. Whilst a lot of work is done to help passengers move through airports to access food and retail shops, toilets, lounges and ultimately the right gate for their flight, spare a thought for people experiencing blindness or low vision.
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The Beautiful Game has an Ugly Side

The World game, the beautiful game, football, soccer, religion, whatever you want to call it — it is the game that is on more TV screens, in more fields and more stadiums than any other game across the globe. It has seen moments of true beauty like Mark Bresciano (Australian midfielder) tying the laces of a mascot at the 2014 World Cup and moments of horror like Andres Escobar’s (Columbian defender) assassination in 1994. The game has weathered many controversies like Jack Warner (special advisor, politician) puppeteering the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association in 2006 and Sepp Blatter (ex-FIFA President) being accused of corruption and sexual assault in 2015 and 2017. The point is, throughout all of this, football has kept going. It has survived riots, hooliganism, stadium collapses and subsequent cover-ups that have brought the whole community closer together but there is something football hasn’t been able to do yet — and that is making it inclusive of all.
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Inclusive Shores

The sun is starting to shine brighter, the days are getting warmer and Aussies across the nation are planning their weekends around heading to the beach. There are few things more iconic to the Aussie lifestyle than sitting on a sunny beach, drinking an ice-cold drink from the Esky and trying not to burn yourself to a crisp. Beaches form a major part of the Australian iconography, it is in our ads, it is our tourism calling card and it is our go-to holiday destination. So how are we working to make the beach enjoyable for people of all types?
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I'm Sorry, I Didn't See Your Ad

The advertising industry spends billions a year to put flashy, well-designed ads in front of you with crafty messaging delivered in coercive ways to get you to spend money on the things you (may or may not) need. It is an industry of creative minds merging with data heads to make sure their ads are seen at exactly the right time, but what happens when the ad is delivered at the right time and in the right location, but the customer doesn’t see it? This is happening every day, but not because the customer doesn’t want to see your ad.
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What's in a place?

Last week I met an incredibly inspiring woman, Sarah Brown from The Purple House. The Purple House is a charity located in Alice Springs, in the centre of Australia, providing services to indigenous people in remote Australia.
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Inclusive design for systems change

This month we saw the release of the banking and financial services royal commission and it got me thinking about systems and unintended consequences. Clearly, the banks wanted profits but also wanted to keep their customers and, one would hope, be good corporate citizens. Many banking and financial services institutions have at their core values to be customer focused, ‘doing what is right’ for customers, and acting with integrity. The results, however, were clearly less than ordinary.
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Adobe Symposium 2018 : Where Experience Makers Are Born

Adobe gathered the leading experience makers from around the word for the Adobe Symposium 2018, which occurred in Sydney. Across two days, over 3,500 people heard from rock-star marketers, creative professionals and luminaries who will share the latest strategies for bringing together creativity and data to transform and deliver incredible experiences. Featured brands included Accent Group, Coca-Cola, Westpac, eBay and Centre for Inclusive Design.
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Round Table Create Guidelines for E-Text

Round Table has created new guidelines for creating accessible E-Texts. When Round Table began the revision of their E-Text guidelines they quickly discovered that a complete refresh would better serve the community. The new guidelines, released in May, better reflect the advancements of E-Text whilst removing irrelevant sections or references to better inform the audience.
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