Over the years, we have made some fantastic connections and real friendships with industry experts and community advocates who are all-around amazing people. Not only do we champion their causes, but we have had amazing conversations that truly drive the conversation forward and make people rethink their processes and infuse new life into their day-to-day. Recently, we launched the DE Talk podcast and kicked off our first month in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with autism advocate and attorney, Haley Moss. I had the opportunity to spend time with her at our 2019 Annual Meeting & Conference, and I can fully attest to not only Haley’s amazing spirit but also her eagerness to help employers better connect with neurodiverse candidates. Check out a snippet of the conversation between Candee and Haley, and be sure to listen to the full podcast to hear about her diagnosis, barriers she’s overcome, and how she truly feels about being labeled as “inspiring.”

OFCCP Director Craig Leen and Haley Moss sit on-stage at DEAM19 in Naples, Florida discussing the neurodiverse community.

OFCCP Director Craig Leen and Haley Moss sit on-stage at DEAM19 in Naples, Florida discussing the neurodiverse community and employment.

Candee Chambers:
How do you see the hiring landscape in the future for neurodiverse job seekers and what is your piece of advice regarding the neurodiverse community?

Haley Moss:
I see the job landscape for neurodiverse people changing for the better as time goes on. We are slowly closing this employment gap. I’ve seen statistics quoting as high as about 85% of people on the spectrum as unemployed. I’ve seen all sorts of different statistics, but generally people with disabilities are underemployed or unemployed, which is a problem. I see this changing as we are bringing more neurodiverse people into our companies, think about someone like me. I’m 25 years old right now. In 10 years or so, maybe one day I’ll be partner at a firm or someone like me might be higher up on a team and they might get promoted a couple times. Then it’s our responsibility or something that we might want to do is be able to give back. If I’m hypothetically a partner somewhere, I might want to bring in neurodiverse attorneys that someone else who might be in a bigger corporation that’s in HR that’s neurodivergent might want to bring in other people like them into the teams. Then, you see neurodiverse hiring changing that it’s a for neurodiverse people by neurodiverse people type situation. I think that it’s going to change for the better, especially as the current generation moves up the chain. Right now it’s a bunch of neurotypical people doing this for the neurodiverse community. I think in due time eventually it’s going to be everybody working alongside each other or neurodiverse people doing it for other people who are neurodiverse. I think it’s really going to keep changing and it’s going to change for the better, so I think this gap is going to close.

Candee Chambers:
I will tell you one thing Haley, I do think that you have made us all realize that the neurodiverse community isn’t that much different than the rest of us.

Haley Moss:
We’re all people.

Candee Chambers:
Well exactly and some of the things that you’re afraid of, there’s a lot of people who are not on the autism spectrum that have the same fears or have the same issues.

One thing is for sure – Haley is equal parts genuine and personable. She has an incredible talent for speaking from the heart with such conviction, and for sharing first-hand experience on how employers can incorporate neurodiversity into their workplaces and serve a community that is often underrepresented in today’s workforce. Want to meet Haley in person? Register to attend our 2020 Annual Meeting & Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas where she and her colleague, Alex Loy, will share the stage to have a discussion on what’s its like working alongside individuals with disabilities.

Jaime Costilow
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