Making Autism Acceptance a Priority in the Workplace

April 14, 2023

As part of Autism New Jersey’s year-round awareness initiative, our organization hosts an Autism Awareness Ambassador Campaign each April. The more than 1,000 dedicated ambassadors who participate are autistic individuals, family members, friends, neighbors, schools, and co-workers.

This year marks Autism New Jersey’s most successful year to date and included ambassadors from corporations who wanted to learn and incorporate autism-friendly practices into their businesses. Below are a few partnerships from 2023.

Wyndham Hotel & Resorts Inc.
April 19, 2023

For nearly a decade, Wyndham has celebrated Autism Awareness Month to show support for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families – and this year was no different! On April 19, Dr. Suzanne Buchanan, along with retired police captain and father, Gerald Turning, presented to more than 100 Wyndham employees. They discussed autism, similarities and differences across the spectrum, and a personal story shared by Jerry. In addition to the presentation, members of the Autism New Jersey team hosted autism awareness and information tables and welcomed questions and conversations about autism. Thank you for letting us be a part of your Autism Acceptance Month, Wyndham!

“Wyndham’s efforts supporting individuals on the autism spectrum and their families is important during Autism Awareness month and year-round,” said Paul Cash, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.  “That’s why we invited Autism New Jersey to spend the day at our headquarters sharing impactful personal stories that build compassion and inspire our team members as they provide inclusive experiences for our guests.”

April 26, 2023

The National Basketball Association recognized National Autism Month by offering employees the opportunity to listen to and ask questions during a panel discussion about autism. Dr. Suzanne Buchanan was one of five panelists including Julian Maha, co- founder of KultureCity, Renae Ingles, retired Australian Netballer, Tim Kane, Sr. Director Broadcast Ops NBA, and Tom Carelli, SVP Broadcast Schedule NBA. Together, they had an in-depth conversation on ways to support the acceptance and inclusion of those impacted by autism.

“The NBA Autism Acceptance Conference provides us the opportunity to share the great work of Autism New Jersey, Kulture City, Super Mom Renae Ingles, and her husband Joe of the Milwaukee Bucks,” said Tim Kane, NBA Senior Director of Broadcast Operations. “Kulture City’s Sensory Rooms allows individuals with sensory issues and their families a chance to enjoy a game, concert or performance and always have a space to relocate when the sights, sounds, lights, and crowd become overwhelming. Thanks to Kulture City and our NBA teams, I hope to attend a Knicks game in the future with our son.”

Crum & Forster
May 2, 2023

Information about autism, support for employees, and awareness were the goals of Crum & Forster this April. The company made autism acceptance a priority and reached out to Autism New Jersey to create an event for their employees. On May 2, Dr. Suzanne Buchanan presented to the group about autism, similarities and differences of the spectrum, and how autistic individuals and their families may be impacted. Thank you for bringing this information to employees, Crum & Forster!

Fiserv, Inc.
May 18, 2023

Welcome to New Jersey, Fiserv! The new Berkeley Heights chapter employs more than 3,000 people. This April, the company reached out to Autism New Jersey with the goal of learning how they can best support their employees who are members of the autism community. As part of their Thrive Program which hosts meaningful events to bring resources to employees, they wanted to not only celebrate National Autism Month but also plan future events for the company. Autism New Jersey is looking forward to collaborating with Fiserv to support their team!

Thank you again to Wyndham, the NBA, Crum & Forster, and Fiserv for making autism awareness personal!

Note: April is a busy month for Autism New Jersey staff, so we encourage corporations to request these presentations throughout the year and well in advance.