'Just give me a chance': Man hopes to motivate more companies to offer jobs to people of all abilities
April is Autism Awareness Month, but some advocacy groups are moving away from awareness and instead pushing a new message of acceptance.
Brandon Bornn is one of over 5 million adults living with autism in the United States.
"I don't really know how to explain it to be honest. I don't really feel different than anyone else. I drive a car, I live in my own apartment and it's just wonderful," he says.
He works at Cambridge Security Seals every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"There's no better employee than my son. He worked through the pandemic, was never late, never missed a day," says Bornn's mother, Laura Dimarino.
It's estimated up to 85% of people with autism are unemployed or underemployed.
One of the contributing factors is that people with autism tend to have poor communication and social skills, which can make it tough to compete with other candidates during job interviews.
Theresa Dossantos is director of supported employment at Arc of Rockland, which connects companies to the special needs workforce.
"Very welcoming, (they) come in with a smile on their face, look forward to come to work, they're reliable, dedicated and motivate the other individuals," says Dossantos.
Bornn is among the 80 individuals they have helped place in jobs.
He hopes sharing his story motivates more companies to open their hearts – and their workforce – to people of all abilities.
"Just give me a chance. You shouldn't judge before you get to know," he says.