TUC Disabled Workers' Committee

I was elected to this Committee in 2013 and each year since. The Disability section of the TUC's website is here.

Autism: Myths and facts

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

Beware of stereotypes; they can overlook people’s individuality, and lead to mocking and bullying.

‘Autism is one of those trendy ‘conditions’ that everyone seems to have these days.’
This is a commonly-heard view, but an inaccurate prejudice which undermines the very real experiences of people with autism and their friends and families.

How workplaces can create difficulties for autistic workers

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

Workplaces and employers make work difficult for autistic workers for the following reasons:

Discrimination: Treating the autistic worker differently from, less favourably than, others.

Bullying by management, including ridicule and physical/ verbal abuse.

Lack of communication and support.

Nothing about autistic people without autistic people

From the TUC handbook, Autism in the Workplace

The trade union movement supports the demand of the disabled people’s movement: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’.

Many trade unions have structures for disabled members; if so, it may be useful to invite and welcome autistic members’ involvement in these.

There are organisations of autistic people, and trade unionists may benefit from their expertise.

Autism: What your union can do

From the TUC Handbook, Autism in the Workplace:

Be aware that your membership (nationally, in your region, branch, workplace, etc.) is neurologically diverse, even if no-one has identified themselves to you as being on the autistic spectrum or having another neurological condition. Your union’s strength comes from uniting its members and mobilising the talents of all its members.

Defend your members

An Autism Glossary

From the TUC handbook, 'Autism in the workplace'.

Asperger syndrome 
An autism spectrum condition that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others. People with Asperger syndrome usually have fewer problems with language than those with other forms of autism, and may not have the accompanying learning disabilities often associated with autism. 

TUC 'Autism in the workplace' handbook

Attached is the handbook for trade unionists on 'Autism in the Workplace', written by me and published by the Trades Union Congress in 2014.

This should be useful to all trade union reps and activists both in representing individual members who are autistic and/or have autistic dependants, and in organising to tackle discrimination and fight for autism-friendly workplaces.

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