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For many autistic people, finding and keeping a job is still a major challenge. Research suggests that over 85 percent of autistic adults are unemployed or underemployed. In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, OAR is hosting a free webinar event on the topic of employment on Thursday, October 8, at 11 a.m. ET. Presenter Danny Combs will discuss how organizations, autistic individuals, and their families can set autistic people up for employment success in the skilled trades. Combs is the president and founder of Teaching the Autism Community Trades (TACT), a nonprofit that teaches autistic individuals trade skills such as auto mechanics, carpentry, computer science, and welding.

He will discuss how to help organizations find community partners and scaffold their training to set up students for success. Autistic individuals will learn how to assess their skills and talents to find careers and employment around those abilities.

Combs is a fourth-generation woodworker and mechanical tinkerer who grew up building and making things with his family. He followed a different career path playing music in Nashville, where he had a vibrant career working with Grammy- and Oscar-winning recording artists. After 10 years in the music industry, he discovered a passion for education that led him to teach music and run a music program at an inner-city high school in Nashville, Tenn. He received several awards in teaching, including a Grammy Enterprise Award for the high school program, and became a published educational author, arranger, and songwriter.

When his son, Dylan, was diagnosed with autism, he pulled from his family legacy to put together TACT. Combs has a master’s degree in education and is a board certified cognitive specialist as well as a certified autism specialist.

Register for Autism and the Skilled Trades, which includes a Q&A session. Those who attend the live event will also receive a certificate of attendance.