AskEARN | Including Neurodivergent Workers: Finding Neurodivergent Workers Skip to main content

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About EARN

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) offers information and resources to help employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; build inclusive workplace cultures; and meet diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) goals. 

Getting Started

Start here to learn how to recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities; why workplace inclusion of people with disabilities matters; and how EARN’s resources can help.

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    Phases of Employment

  • A woman in a wheelchair shakes hands with a colleague

    Recruit

    Build a pipeline of talent that includes people with disabilities.

  • Two men work at repairing an engine.

    Hire

    Identify people who have the skills and attributes for the job.

  • A woman with a disability wearing a helmet works in a factory

    Retain

    Keep talented employees with disabilities, including those who acquire them on the job.

  • A man uses sign language to communicate.

    Advance

    Ensure that employees with disabilities have equal opportunities for advancement.

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EARN’s Learning Center offers a wide range of training resources, including self-paced online courses.

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Including Neurodivergent Workers: Finding Neurodivergent Workers

A variety of organizations, agencies and programs are available to help employers source and hire neurodivergent workers.

Neurodivergent workers often look for and apply for jobs using the same methods as other candidates. However, employers can hire and recruit neurodivergent workers through other means.

These organizations, agencies and programs can help employers identify and hire neurodivergent workers with the skill sets and experience they need:

  • Employers can connect with state and local agencies such as Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies, American Job Centers and workforce development boards as well as nonprofit community organizations and service providers that focus on efforts to place and support neurodivergent workers. Find more information on EARN’s Finding Candidates with Disabilities and Resources for Finding Candidates with Disabilities pages.
  • Apprenticeships offer a proven way to recruit, train and advance workers, including neurodivergent workers. Learn more from the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship (PIA).
  • The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), a free resource from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Defense, connects federal agencies and select private employers nationwide with qualified job candidates with disabilities for internships and permanent jobs in a wide range of fields. Neurodivergent college students and recent graduates are among the thousands of WRP candidates available each year (although WRP does not specifically target neurodivergent people).
  • Many companies have found success in hosting events that focus on hiring and recruiting neurodivergent workers to allow job candidates to meet with hiring managers and learn more about organizations. You can learn more in the Neurodiversity Hiring Initiatives & Partnerships section.
  • An employee resource group (ERG) for workers with disabilities, including neurodivergent staff and their allies, can be a helpful tool for increasing disability diversity in your organization. Leadership and HR can work with ERGs to connect with talented neurodivergent candidates and other candidates with disabilities and hear directly from neurodivergent employees about an area of interest or concern. Learn more on EARN’s ERG page or read Fostering Disability-Inclusive Workplaces Through Employee Resource Groups.
  • Neurodivergent workers are also likely already working in job roles at your workplace, although they may not have self-identified as people with disabilities. Inclusion efforts may benefit them, too, as they can access greater supports to enhance their performance and productivity.