EPIC Assist staff selected as mentors in Autism Mentoring Program

EPIC Assist's Mozz and Sophie O'Sullivan will mentor youth in Autism Queensland's Autism Mentoring Program at the 2015 Asia Pacific Autism Conference.

Navigating the transition between school and further education, employment and adulthood can be difficult for those on the spectrum, therefore the Autism Mentoring Program connects successful adults and young people on the spectrum during this transitional phase.

The Mentors assist mentees with social, academic, employment and emotional goals, as well as connecting them to relevant services.

EPIC Assist Consultants Mozz and Sophie are working with those on the spectrum in EPIC Assist's new service Recruit Assist.

This service is tailored to help highly skilled candidates who remain 'invisible' to the workforce (i.e. those on the spectrum) to find long-term employment.

Both Mozz and Sophie are on the spectrum and know all too well the difficulties facing those on the spectrum looking to enter the workforce, inspiring them to take up the opportunity to become mentors.

"Knowing the many difficulties faced by those on the Autism Spectrum, it was important to be able to share lessons learnt with the hope to support those who could benefit from such experience," said Mozz.

Mozz looks forward to listening, understanding, encouraging, developing, and nurturing the mentees in the hopes that they too will carry on the torch and act as a guide for others on the spectrum.

"I believe we need to positively support those on the Autism Spectrum who have the skills and capability to train and deliver services to others".

According to Mozz and Sophie, people on the Autism Spectrum are often overlooked for jobs and/or struggle in the workplace due to a number of different factors, such as, finding the interview process daunting, being judged too quickly without an opportunity for presenting themselves as they truly are, the difficulties surrounding making 'social adjustments' for 'invisible' disabilities in the workplace, bullying due to not fitting in and the lack of positive information and resources available to those on the spectrum and employers.

Sophie believes education is key for bringing about change.

"Understanding, educating and acceptance. This goes for both the person on the spectrum and employer/work colleagues. A person on the spectrum has to work to learn and understand the world of neurotypicals (those not on the spectrum), however this also needs to be reciprocated by society to understand and accept individuals on the spectrum," said Sophie.

EPIC Assist is a major sponsor of APAC15.

The conference will be held in Brisbane from 9 to 11 September 2015.