A year in review - Top media mentions of 2016
by Bushraa Khatib
December 20, 2016
As the end of 2016 rapidly approaches, we take a moment to look back on the highlights of media mentions of our Life Course Outcomes work this year. We’re enthused that our work was featured in national media outlets including USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, The Atlantic, Science Daily, LA Times, The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.
Our media coverage this year heavily focused on employment issues for youth and adults on the autism spectrum, and used the LCO’s 2016 National Autism Indicators Report: Vocational Rehabilitation as source material. The report, the second in a series following the 2015 report on Transition to Adulthood, provides an in-depth look at how the federally-funded Vocational Rehabilitation program works to provide young adults with autism with opportunities for meaningful employment. In an age where data-driven policy changes are increasingly important, the LCO works hard to provide analysis of data in ways that are meaningful to policy-makers, advocates, parents, and service providers working to improve the lives of people with autism.
Our work provided background for stories on improvements in employment for adults with autism. A feature in Fortune recognized that more and more companies like Ernst & Young are actively employing people with autism and successfully integrating them into business as usual. Similarly, an NPR piece used the 2015 report on Transition to Adulthood as a diving-off point for covering a wide array of companies who find people with autism to be desirable, well-performing employees. An article in the LA times profiled a college internship program in Long Beach, CA that teaches young adults with autism the social and communication skills they need to live independently and seek employment.
Our work also grounded the reality of the employment situation. A Washington Post article highlighted the fact that two-thirds of young people with autism do not move on to employment or other education in the first two years after leaving high school, and young adults with autism are more likely to be unemployed than their peers with other disabilities. What changes are needed to move the needle on these statistics?
The Life Course Outcomes research program recognizes that we need to build a set of comprehensive indicators to understand how far we have come and where we are headed in our efforts to help those affected by autism. News coverage of exciting programs and interventions that incorporates findings by the LCO and other researchers is an exciting indicator that our research is making a difference. We’re looking forward to a new year of more progress on all fronts of autism research.