Seminar to offer professional development training for individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome and autism
Microsoft Lighthouse progrom logo
February 11, 2019

URBANA, Ill. –The Autism Program at the University of Illinois will partner with Illinois Career Services and the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services at U of I to host a professional development training seminar aimed at helping adult individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome and autism in finding employment that works for them.

The seminar is set for Wednesday, March 13, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the iHotel and Conference Center in Champaign.

The event is made possible by the Microsoft Accessibility Lighthouse Program, an initiative to further reduce barriers to employment for students on the autism spectrum. In June 2018, Microsoft announced it would be investing $200,000 in the Accessibility Lighthouse Program, a collaboration that includes The Autism Program (TAP) in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois.

The “Finding Employment that Works for Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome/Autism” seminar will be presented by Barbara Bissonnette, a best-selling author and expert on autism and employment. Since 2006, she has specialized in career-development coaching for adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and similar autism spectrum profiles. She also provides training for professionals and consultations with employers. 

Bissonnette’s presentation will use non-technical language, and will include examples from her experience coaching hundreds of adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and similar autism spectrum profiles. 

During the in-depth training seminar, participants will learn:

  • How Asperger’s Syndrome and autism impact adults in the workplace, including communication, sensory, and executive challenges
  • Why occupational choices should not be based on interests
  • Steps to finding the right job match
  • How to establish rapport, deal with unrealistic expectations, and develop realistic job search strategies
  • Disclosure and accommodation strategies
  • Innovative employment models

The cost to attend the seminar is $50. Participants can register online at, until March 1. For more information, contact Lindsay Haitz at or 217-300-7226.