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Life On the Spectrum

Meet Gurlall

Disclaimer: Autism Speaks Canada utilizes both person-first (person with autism) and identity-first (autistic person) language and recommends respecting the choice of the autistic individual and or family for their preferred choice. Life on the Spectrum shares lived experiences and authentic stories of autistic Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The answers to the questions are provided by the autistic person and or family. We are thankful to the participants for trusting us. We strive to share their stories authentically and respectfully. Information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks Canada provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties. 

Meet Gurlall

Gurlall is an autistic Canadian and a successful graduate from the EmploymentWorks program Vancouver, BC. Gurlall got a job at London Drugs through this program.

EmploymentWorks, is a joint program between Autism Speaks Canada and the Sinneave Family Foundation, funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program.

Gurlall, tell us about yourself.

I’m a student with BCIT right now. I’m working towards receiving an associate’s certificate in computerized accounting. Hopefully it will open more job opportunities for me.

Gurlall you are helping Canadians understand what autism is and more importantly understanding that everybody has a place in the workplace. Tell us about your experience in getting employed.

I’d say that autistic people struggle not only with landing or obtaining employment, but also maintaining certain positions – that’s been my case for sure. I think that management and other higher officials don’t really understand the nature of autism. I feel the reason why I have been let go in the past is because the lack of real understand of autism and lack of accommodations made for people like me.

You are an inspiration to so many people – what advise do you have for others?

I would like employers to spend some time to understand what autism is and how every autistic individual is unique. Each autistic person has their strengths and challenges. There are some individuals who can’t fend for themselves, they’re unable to communicate at all, they need full-on advocacy, they can’t self-advocate whatsoever – not even when they become adults. While there are others who can communicate. There is a place for everyone in the workplace, if we spend the time to understand the unique strengths of each individual and accept them for who they are.

How has your experience been with SpectrumWorks and Autism Speaks Canada?

I didn’t know what to expect but I discovered so many different job opportunities and employment opportunities through the EmploymentWorks program. I was surprised at the countless opportunities. I encourage every autistic adult to lean into this resource for more information and opportunities available in your areas.

Disclaimer: Autism Speaks Canada utilizes both person-first (person with autism) and identity-first (autistic person) language and recommends respecting the choice of the autistic individual and or family for their preferred choice. Life on the Spectrum shares lived experiences and authentic stories of autistic Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The answers to the questions are provided by the autistic person and or family. We are thankful to the participants for trusting us. We strive to share their stories authentically and respectfully. Information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks Canada provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks Canada has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties.