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National Autistic Society launches campaign to give people with Asperger's Syndrome equal rights at work

More half a million people in the UK have an autism spectrum condition and only 15% of these are in employment, according to the National Autistic Society.

According to the Society, despite the Equal Opportunity policy which most organisations have, organisations are faced with a challenge when it comes to employing someone on the autism spectrum.

The key issue is that many individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome (a mild form of autism) do not come across as disabled yet will often miss social cues, or can be seen as being too abrupt and tactless when it comes to expressing opinions. This will often lead to bullying or unfair dismissal.

The National Autistic Society has launched its campaign called "The Undiscovered Workforce" to address this issue, hoping to open the eyes of employers and reduce the vast number of people with Asperger's Syndrome who are currently out of work.

Neil Morgenstern, an ambassador for the National Autistic Society and co-founder of Aspie Rep (an organisation which aims to campaign for autistic people to have equal rights in employment), found himself facing with the same challenges in the workplace as many others on the autism spectrum despite having a BA Honours degree from Imperial College and an impressive CV. "What you will notice from my CV is the number of times I have changed jobs - this was due to being discriminated for being socially different and not due to an inability to do the job well," he said. "And this is why I am so passionate about campaigning for this cause."

Aspie Rep will, later this month, host its first event with Rudy Simone, a well-known American writer and speaker in the autism community, who will be addressing the subject of Asperger's Syndrome and employment, giving an insight to some of the benefits of hiring people with Asperger's Syndrome. The event is on 31 May in London.