‘Spurred on by meeting a young man on the Autism spectrum who was very limited in his independence due to low expectations of his capability by family and educators, I decided to write a book about employment for teens on the spectrum to help build confidence and knowledge around employment.’ — The Wonderful World of Work: A Workbook for Asperteens by Yenn Purkis.
DEA welcomes Yenn back to our conference to deliver a conversational keynote address, in which he will speak candidly and personally about autism and employment. From quick fix jobs, extended unemployment, barriers and setbacks to achievements that boost confidence, Yenn will take you on a journey from rock bottom to finding his way forward.
Yenn’s presentation takes pause from thinking about disability employment assistance as a government policy or program, to focus on the person. It’s a shout-out to the those working in the sector, to the participants putting themselves out there and to the employers ready to give someone a fair go.
With good humour and grace, Yenn reflects on mental illness and autism — highlighting what people with disability bring to the workplace and what they can share about improving our understanding of service commitment.
Yenn Purkis is an autistic and non-binary author, public speaker and community leader who has a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Yenn works in the autism/neurodiversity, gender diversity and mental health advocacy spaces.
Yenn is the author of ten published books on elements of autism and is a regular blogger. Yenn has been facilitating a support group for women and gender diverse folk on the autism spectrum since 2011.
They were named the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year and received the ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award for Achievement in Inclusion in 2019. Yenn is also a prolific public speaker and has presented at a range of events including at TEDx Canberra in 2013.
Yenn works for the Australian Public Service and lives in Canberra, Australia.