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Adult Services - Supports for Living and Working

Adult Services - Supports for Living and Working

Recorded May 19, 2022


Most autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed, despite many having the ability and desire to work. Workplace Inclusion Now (WIN) engages three key stakeholder groups with consultative, digital training, and community engagement. The speakers will share how this approach improves outcomes for individuals, specifically in the manufacturing industry.

Of course, gainful employment is only one factor that contributes to a fulfilling, happy adult life. Having a secure and safe place to live is a cornerstone to living as independently as appropriate, whatever that might look like for each individual. Learn about recent trends in housing and residential supports, what is working well, what needs to be improved, and how we can move forward together toward more scalable solutions.

And finally, another sometimes unfortunate reality of autistic adulthood is increased interaction with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. What does a recent global survey show about recidivism in the criminal justice system, and how and when can we more effectively intercept autistic victims, witnesses, and perpetrators of crimes before they become stuck in that vicious cycle?


  1. Attendees will describe the current state of employment for Autistic/ neurodiverse job seekers.
  2. Attendees will increase their understanding of the systems and stakeholders involved in
    successful hiring.
  3. Attendees will identify trends in key adult service areas such as housing and residential supports.
  4. Attendees will increase their understanding of the interaction between adults on the spectrum and the criminal justice system.


Arianna Esposito

Arianna Esposito, MBA, BCBA, is the Vice President of Services and Supports, Lifespan Programs at Autism Speaks. She brings to Autism Speaks over ten years of experience working with individuals with across the spectrum and the lifespan. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and an Executive MBA from Saint Joseph’s University. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Nu honors societies. Her work is focused on developing, testing, and scaling evidence-based programs that provide strategic information and support services to people with autism and their families across the spectrum and at pivotal points in the developmental trajectory across their lifespan.

Dave Kearon

Dave Kearon is the Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks. He works to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities and resources available to youth and adults with autism related to the transition to adulthood, employment, housing and residential supports, postsecondary education, and community integration. Dave’s team’s work in recent years has included the development of an autism-led corporate employment consultancy and an autism small business accelerator. Upcoming initiatives include digital training courses for job seekers, hiring managers, and coworkers, a digital sourcing platform for businesses, interactive developmental pathways for the transition to adulthood, as well as a larger employment collaboration with other nonprofits for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Josh Cobbs

Josh Cobbs is Senior Manager of Employment Initiatives at Autism Speaks. His work encompasses managing day-to-day operations and implementing Autism Speaks’ employment ecosystem of services and supports. His past work includes serving as a vocational counselor for the State of Iowa, working with post-secondary institutions on transition and employment programs for individuals with barriers, and founding an autism center. Cobbs twice provided testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies on access to telehealth treatments. Serving as Chairperson of the Iowa Governor’s Council on Autism for almost four years, Cobbs helped spearhead access to care and improving outcomes for Iowans. Cobbs resides in Iowa with his wife and three children.

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Non-Member Price: $20
Member Price: $0