Vocational Interventions and Autism


Supermarket employeeVocational interventions are any activities that are designed to help people find, get and keep a job. They also include any activities which enable people to improve the workplace experience and enhance their careers.

There are several different types of employment for autistic people including

  • Competitive employment: employees work in an integrated setting at minimum wage or higher and at a rate comparable to non-disabled workers performing the same tasks
  • Segregated or secure employment: employees work in self-contained units and are not integrated with non-disabled employees
  • Self-employment: employees work for themselves instead of working for somebody else
  • Sheltered employment: employees work in self-contained units, sometimes alongside non-disabled employees
  • Supported employment: employees get help to find and keep the right job alongside non-disabled people in competitive employment

There are also various techniques that are used within vocational interventions, either alone or in combination. Those techniques include

  • job development, including helping someone find appropriate jobs
  • job placement, including matching someone to an appropriate job
  • job-site training, which involves on-site skill training
  • assessment, which is an ongoing process to determine how the new worker is performing
  • job retention, which involves advocacy and procedures to ensure long-term job maintenance


Determining the benefits of most forms of vocational intervention (such as sheltered employment programmes) for autistic people is not currently possible. We must wait for further research of sufficiently high quality to be completed. Some supported employment programmes may provide some benefits for some autistic people.

Risks and safety

No risks are associated with vocational interventions.

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26 May 2022