Autism Speaks Launches Crowdsourcing Competition with HeroX to Increase Accessibility to Employment Networking and Career Development for Autistic Job Seekers

HOUSTON, Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Autism Speaks, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan for people with autism and their families, today launches the "Autism Employment Connector Challenge" with HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions. The goal of the Challenge is to increase accessibility to employment networking and career development opportunities with a solution that supports autistic job seekers with navigating the employment search and application process while effectively communicating skills and abilities to prospective employers.

For the one in 45 adults on the autism spectrum, finding a job can have unique challenges. While many people with autism have great talents and skills that employers desire, some autistic jobseekers have difficulty navigating certain interfaces, understanding abstract language and communicating their abilities using traditional text and talk. With the 70,000 – 100,000 teens with autism transitioning from school to employment each year, it is critical that current and future job seekers are supported when searching for gainful employment.

"At Autism Speaks, we’ve witnessed the communication mismatch that is causing a structural problem in the hiring process and creating a barrier to employment for hundreds of thousands of adults with autism," said David Kearon, Director of Adult Services and Support at Autism Speaks. "With the power of a big idea, we hope to find an accessible, inclusive job-sourcing solution that will connect job seekers to open roles and employers to candidates outside of traditional talent pools."

"Current employment platforms operate under cultural rules that might not be inclusive to everyone," said Kal K. Sahota, CEO of HeroX. "The HeroX community is filled with disruptive thinkers who can re-envision how applicants with autism find jobs, making sure we can all benefit from the skills they bring to the table."

The Challenge: Autism Speaks is searching for a solution to help increase accessibility for autistic job seekers to search employment opportunities and navigate the application process with the end goal to connect with potential employers.

This requires identifying and removing structural biases that currently exist in the hiring process. Entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, students, existing employment platform services, staffing experts, and anyone eager to include cognitive, sensory, and intellectual differences into the diversity and inclusion movement is invited to take on this challenge and create a solution. 

The Prize: The top three winning solutions will receive $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 USD, respectively.

Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The challenge is open to individuals age 18 (eighteen) years or older who are U.S. Citizens or permanent residents of the United States, organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams comprised of otherwise eligible individuals or organizations and are led by an otherwise eligible individual or organization, All Innovators must be able to participate without violation of any third-party rights or obligations, including without limitation an employer’s policies or procedures.

To accept the challenge, visit

About Autism  
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. A combination of genetic and environmental factors influences the development of autism, and autism often is accompanied by medical issues such as GI disorders, seizures and sleep disturbances. Autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children.  

About Autism Speaks  
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. To find resources, join an event or make a donation, go to Learn more by following @autismspeaks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.   

HeroX is a platform and open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.

Explore the latest challenges at

Media Contact:

Mackenzie Dougherty



SOURCE Autism Speaks; HeroX