The Autism & Employment Experiences Survey

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?
How much time does the survey take?
Who is doing this research?
Why did you create this survey, and why are you interested in autistic people's experiences with employment?
How is this project being funded?
Will I be paid to participate?
How will my answers be used?
How will my privacy be protected?
Why do you ask questions about race/ethnicity, gender identity, transgender status, or other sensitive topics?
How can I help?

Who can participate?

The survey is designed to be taken by anyone who:

  • Is autistic (professional or self-diagnosis)
  • Has applied for OR held a job

Neurotypical and other non-autistic people can also take the survey, but will answer fewer questions. Responses from people who are not autistic will allow for comparisons between autistic and non-autistic people's opinions of autism employment programs.
Because a lot of the existing research focuses on young, white, male autistic people, I am especially interested in getting responses from:

  • People of color
  • Women
  • Older adults
  • People who learned they were autistic later in life

I am also looking for responses fom people who have participated in Autism at Work or other autism hiring programs, though this is not a requirement for taking the survey.
You do not need to have been diagnosed by a professional, and you do not need to have a job to participate.

How much time does the survey take?

The survey is designed to take about 30 minutes to complete. Since not every question will apply to every participant, it might take you more or less time, depending on your answers.

Who is doing this research?

This survey was developed by me, Ian Moura. I'm an autistic adult from the United States. You can find more about my educational and professional background on LinkedIn. You can also follow me on Twitter, though I am admittedly bad at social media.

I have consulted with a number of other autistic people, as well as some researchers and experts who very kindly offered to review the survey and offer feedback on it while I was creating it. However, any errors or oversights are mine.

A few groups and individuals have generously offered to share the link to the survey via email lists and/or social media groups that they organize or moderate. Sharing the survey link does not mean that these individuals or groups are formally affiliated with the project, and they will not have access to the collected data.

Why did you create this survey, and why are you interested in autistic people's experiences with employment?

I became interested in autism employment programs after I participated in one. Although programs like the one I participated in receive lots of positive press, I was disappointed in the program I went through, and started wondering if other people were also having negative experiences that were not publicized. As I did more reading and looked into what kind of research had been done on autistic adults and employment, I found that there was very little research on autistic people's self-reported experiences finding and keeping jobs. The studies that do exist have mostly talked to or surveyed only a small number of autistic people. That seemed like something worth changing, so I created this project.

You can read a more in-depth description of how and why I created this project here.

You can read an article I wrote about Autism at Work programs, after attending the 2019 Microsoft Autism at Work Summit, here.

How is this project being funded?

This project is self-funded, which means that all costs are being paid for by me. I am not affiliated with a university or with any autism research organization, so the focus of the research is determined by me, and the opinions expressed on this page are my own.

Will I be paid to participate?

No, you will not be paid to take the survey.

How will my answers be used?

Your answers will be used to identify patterns in the kinds of experiences autistic people are having related to employment. The information from the survey will be used as the basis for articles, and my long-term goal is to write a book about autistic people's work and job-seeking experiences. Hopefully, the information I collect from this survey will help employers think about and adjust their hiring and employment practices to better support and include autistic people.

How will my privacy be protected?

The answers collected from the survey are anonymous, and will not be associated with any identifying information (like your name, phone number, or email address - in fact, the survey doesn't even ask for those things). Once I am done collecting responses, I will analyze them, and when I talk about survey results or share them with others, I won't be sharing a single person's set of responses. What I will share is the aggregated data. For example, that means that I might say that 1 in 3 people answered a question a certain way, or that people who answered "Yes" to one question were more likely to answer "Yes" to a different question as well. I may also share longer answers that come from comment boxes on the survey, but as with all of the other answers, your responses to those questions will be anonymous.

I am gathering survey answers using a password-protected SurveyMonkey account, which only I have access to. Once the response collection is complete, that data will be downloaded and stored on the hard drive of my personal computer. I am the only person who has access to this device. Data will be backed-up to an external drive and stored in a password-protected file.

Responses are being collected using SurveyMonkey. If you are interested, you can read their Privacy Policy or their Security Statement.

Why do you ask questions about race/ethnicity, gender identity, transgender status, or other sensitive topics?

I ask questions about topics that might be sensitive for some people because I want to understand how belonging to another group that may face discrimination in the workplace might influence the kinds of experiences autistic people have. For example, a Black autistic person might have a different experience depending on whether someone is reacting to their race, the fact that they are autistic, or both. A lot of research on autistic people doesn't really look at how all the different parts of a person's identity and background might influence the kinds of experiences they have. Although these questions can feel a little personal, asking them is one way to start thinking more about the different kinds of challenges autistic people might face based on other aspects of their identity.

If you are uncomfortable answering some of the demographic questions, you may choose not to answer them (there is an option for "I prefer not to answer this question"). You may also skip any other questions on the survey that you feel uncomfortable answering. Additionally, you may choose to stop taking the survey at any time.

How can I help?

  • Take the survey!
  • Share the survey with friends or family who might be interested in taking it
  • Share the survey and/or this webpage on social media or via a mailing list.
  • If you would like to provide additional information for the project by participating in an interview (in person, or over email, chat, or video call) about your work or job-seeking experiences, please email autismworksurvey@gmail.com.
  • If you are interested in publishing writing about this project, collaborating on future research, or talking about how to improve autism employment programs, please email autismworksurvey@gmail.com.

Do you have additional questions that are not answered here? If so, please email autismworksurvey@gmail.com.