Employment was never a smooth process for many—disregarding the current social and political climate, the job market is a competitive sphere where people leverage their skills for the best positions. And on paper, it should work just fine. However, in reality, many things can impact whether or not you’ll get the job, including your gender, family situation, race, or even health history. All of those factors can determine your future, and it’s especially frustrating when you are denied certain opportunities because of something you cannot control. However, while some accept the situation (though reluctantly), others try to stand up for themselves, and sometimes those proclamations might push society towards wider acceptance.

More info: LinkedIn

Young man with autism posted a letter asking employers to give him a chance

Image credits: Ryan Lowry

Ryan Lowry is a young man from Leesburg, Virginia, who will soon graduate school, and it’s a suitable time to search for a job. But he also wants to be transparent and let his potential employers know he has autism, which can become a hitch in the best-laid plans. However, Ryan believes being upfront about his strengths and weaknesses is only fair when seeking a future career. “I realize that someone like you will have to take a chance on me, I don’t learn like typical people do,” said Ryan. “I would need a mentor to teach me, but I learn quickly, once you explain it, I get it. I promise that if you hire me and teach me, you’ll be glad that you did. I will show up every day, do what you tell me to do, and work really hard.”

He published a handwritten letter on LinkedIn in hopes of connecting with interested parties

Image credits: Ryan Lowry

The 20-year-old’s current dream is to work in animation, though a career path in IT is also not a bad choice. In the letter, he stressed he might need a mentor to help him get started, but he’s confident in his learning ability. The letter serves as an introductory card of sorts, and initially he was planning to type it out, but his younger brother suggested that he write the letter by hand. According to his father Rob Lowry, it made more sense to post the letter on a professional networking site rather than send copies by mail.

Ryan’s letter attracted the attention of both sympathetic people and potential employers

Image credits: Ryan Lowry

Image credits: Photo by Jay Korff/WJLA

Unsurprisingly, the heartfelt and honest letter got people’s attention. He has already received job offers, potential mentors, and people who want to network with him. “I’m in awe and never thought this would happen over one written letter,” said his mother Tracy Lowry. “I’m overwhelmed with joy for Ryan and for it opening a whole topic of conversation among employers to helping … people other than Ryan.” Currently, Ryan is leaning towards the offer from Exceptional Minds that would give him a chance to work in a three-year program designed to teach people with autism about animation; with this goal in mind, he’s now preparing his resume and portfolio.

This is another step to stop ostracizing employees with autism

Image credits: Ryan Lowry

While Ryan’s wholesome admission struck a chord with many, the general statistic is a lot gloomier. According to research from Learning Disability Today, only 32% of autistic adults are in some kind of paid employment in the UK, while in the US, statistics from IOS Press, published in 2015, show that around 50–86% of individuals with ASD were unemployed or underemployed in 2015.

People readily voiced their support for Ryan and shared their own insights about employment of individuals with ASD