Many applicants “really want to talk to someone to make sure they’re doing it correctly,” says Jean-Pierre Aubry, associate director of state and local research at CRR and a coauthor of the study. “It feels like a complicated decision.”
A claimant’s personal circumstances can also play a part.
“There is a population that has complicated situations — remarriages, divorces, stepchildren, all kinds of things,” Aubry says. Those “changes of life” can affect benefit eligibility and amounts for retirees and their families and might “require someone to sit down with you and really kind of go through your situation.”
The study also found that Blacks and Hispanics are significantly less likely than whites to apply using only online tools. Aubry says this study didn’t delve into the disparity but a follow-up survey will break down people’s reasons for not claiming online, or for seeking direct aid during the process, by race, ethnicity and whether they live in urban or rural areas.
The survey found that people living in metropolitan areas are more likely to file for benefits fully online, without direct SSA help, as are married and college-educated claimants.
But the characteristic most associated with claiming solely online is familiarity with digital financial services such as online banking and TurboTax, “which are proxies for a high level of comfort with online financial tools,” the study says.
The researchers predict a slight uptick in online applications as younger boomers more comfortable with such services reach claiming age. A much bigger boost is possible — up to 20 percentage points over the next 10 years — if the SSA can better publicize the online option and “help more retirees find answers to their basic inquiries online,” the report says.
“[People] say they find it confusing, or maybe that they don’t feel confident enough in what’s presented online. They’re clearly calling for more information,” Aubry says. “The SSA needs to find a way to make this accessible and credible to individuals.”
But he adds that there is probably an upper limit to how much of the older population will go the online route.
“It’s a significant enough financial decision that there is going to be a portion of the population who want to look someone in the face,” he says. “They want to ask all the questions that they want to ask until they’re fully confident that they’re getting what they think they deserve."
For more than 20 years, the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Centre has proclaimed that autism is often associated with "minds wired for science" However, it's important to note that 'autistic' doesn't automatically equal talent for technology. Just like those who are neurotypical, everyone has different skillsets and interests.
Still, there is truth to the general association that autistic individuals are well suited to work with computers and computer technology.
"I've noticed many people with autism who work in IT, including myself, like to work in the industry because it doesn't involve customer service, interaction, and multi-tasking," said Asha Sreedhar, autism advocate and quality associate at SAP Labs India. "However, there are many fields that individuals with autism are also drawn to, like finance, education, engineering, music, art, etc."
"Individuals with autism have incredible attention to detail and discipline. They have shown to excel at working with technologies, like AI and automation, that depend on large volumes of data and repetitive tasks to streamline processes," shared Margareta Mucibabici, Public Affairs & Social Impact Director at UiPath. "Inevitably, process exceptions must be handled manually, and autistic people can use their unique attributes to learn processes and address any exceptions."
"Some research has been linked to enhanced productivity for humans working with robots versus those that do not," Mucibabici said. "Other studies show that neurodiverse people can be upwards of 30% more productive in software-related roles. These findings combined suggest that equipping autistic people with technologies/software reliant on rule-based and process-based systems would allow these individuals to excel even further in the workplace through better efficiency and improved outputs."
Furthermore, according to the study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Participation Among College Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, there is evidence to support that individuals with autism are an untapped source of STEM talent. It states, "young adults with an ASD had a higher proportion of majoring in STEM-related fields (34.31%) than any other disability groups." However, the research argues that more action and coordinated support are needed to help students with autism enroll in STEM studies and complete such degrees.
There has been a greater effort to hire more diverse employees in latest years. These initiatives should include neurodivergent and autistic individuals. Not just because hiring those on the spectrum demonstrates your genuine commitment to diversity, but it can be beneficial to your company on the whole.
“Individuals with autism tend to have strong attention-to-detail skills and can be quick learners, which would benefit a wide array of companies and industries,” said Sreedhar. “As for the technology or IT industries, there are many jobs in these industries which would suit them because of their repetitive or detail-oriented nature.”
"The benefits and unique attributes that neurodiverse people bring to the workforce prove no different," adds Mucibabici. "Therefore, companies that strive to foster an inclusive workplace should consider the opportunity to create new employment opportunities for autistic individuals and help reduce the employment gap (currently estimated at over 80%). By identifying roles that require significant visual focus and execution of routine tasks – skills at which autistic people naturally excel and enjoy – companies can increase their talent pool in addition to seeing enhancements in productivity, service quality, innovative capabilities, and employee engagement.”
It’s also worth noting that several studies show that autistic consultants find, on average, 10% more bugs than their non-autistic colleagues when checking software code for errors. In addition, a study done by Accenture, AAPD, and Disability found that the companies they researched that hired those on the spectrum achieved, on average, 28% higher revenue, twice the net income, and 30% higher economic profit margins compared with other companies in the same sample.
Ms. Mucibabici also points out that according to a WEF report, Upskilling for Shared Prosperity, upskilling could lead to the net creation of 5.3 million new jobs by 2030. This would be a huge benefit to the 80% of neurodiverse people who are currently unemployed. In addition, partnerships between organizations and technology providers will greatly contribute to closing the skills gap. They increase access to resources and help identify new opportunities to tackle the digital divide, promote inclusion, and reduce inequality.
“The advice that I have for neurodiverse individuals who would like to pursue a career in this field would be first to start taking software testing courses either at a college or institute, as they're less challenging than programming courses, and see how it goes based on interest and ability to learn,” recommends Sreedhar. “Then, after completing the software testing courses, I'd encourage you to try to find a role at a small company or organization (one that is open and supports autistic individuals) to gain experience and learn new skills. After that, you can feel more comfortable applying to bigger companies where you can continue refining and building your skill set.”
Ms. Mucibabici suggests looking for a company that recognizes the unique value that neurodiversity brings as well. “These opportunities will not only allow neurodiverse people to receive training on in-demand skillsets but will also be pivotal for career development as the world continues to evolve technologically,” she said.
Overall, many technology companies like Dell, for example, have developed job interview programs that cater to autism, as companies know they benefit from workers' productivity and logical thinking. As a result, good-paying jobs and companies continually adapt their environments for autism–technology jobs are an excellent match for the right people.
In September, the University of California, Berkeley, will start training its first class of "trip facilitators," who will learn how to guide individuals through therapeutic psychedelic experiences aimed at addressing a variety of mental health problems.
The UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP) training program aims to create a cadre of facilitators who will be ready to help if, and when, substances such as psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD are approved in the US, Tina Trujillo, PhD, an associate professor at UC Berkeley's School of Education, told reporters at a press briefing.
Hallucinogenic drugs are on the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA's) Schedule I list because they are considered to have no currently accepted medical use and high abuse potential. But there has been an explosion of research into psychedelics — combined with therapy — as treatment for severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance-use disorder, and other mental health conditions. Some 100 clinical trials are underway.
"The estimates are that we're going to need 100,000 trained psychedelic facilitators once psilocybin and MDMA are approved by the FDA [US Food and Drug Administration], which is expected to happen within the next 5 years or so," said Michael Pollan, co-founder of the BCSP. He is author of How to Change Your Mind, a 2018 book about psychedelics, which has been adapted into a four-part docuseries currently streaming on Netflix.
The first 24 trainees — a mix of physicians, nurses, psychotherapists, and social workers — will undergo 9 months of education and preparation in "the technical, the cultural, the mystical, and the ethical dimensions of psychedelic facilitation," said Trujillo.
The BCSP's Certificate Program in Psychedelic Facilitation will have "an emphasis on both western science and spiritual care traditions," said Trujillo.
Trainees will receive 150 instructional hours and a 25-hour practicum and will take part in a final 5-day retreat. The program will initially focus only on psilocybin, in part because the BCSP is involved in several FDA-approved trials testing the drug.
In one study ― which aims to enroll participants in the fall ― researchers will use functional MRI to examine the neural correlates of the psychedelic experience in individuals receiving low-dose psilocybin.
Eligible trainees will have an opportunity to participate in the Berkeley psilocybin trials and "increase their first-hand knowledge," Trujillo said.
At the conclusion of the training, students will receive a certificate, "not a license or sanction to go off and practice," she said. She noted that eventually, when facilitation is legal, certificate holders will be able to practice in clinical research settings or in healthcare settings.
Pollan said there has been a radical change in acceptance of psychedelics as potential therapies.
"The shift from destroyer of young minds in the '60s to effective medicine in the 2020s is as sudden as it is confusing for many people," he said. He noted that the Berkeley center hopes to provide evidence-based information for journalists, the public, and clinicians.
He said that after his book was released, he expected pushback from "mainstream psychiatry." Instead, he was invited to deliver grand rounds talks. Psychiatrists are "very open to the potential of psychedelics," Pollan said.
"The reason for that, quite frankly, is because they are desperate," he said. "The tools of conventional psychiatry to deal with things like depression and anxiety and addiction are not very good, and some of them are failing," he said.
Pollan cited some other indicators of acceptance. In Oregon, beginning in 2023, psilocybin will be available to anyone older than 21 years but only for use in licensed facilities with licensed facilitators, and the substance must be produced by a licensed manufacturer.
In November, Colorado will ask voters whether they want to follow the Oregon model and legalize psilocybin. If approved, another Colorado ballot initiative would decriminalize possession.
Pollan noted that Cory Booker, the Democratic Senator from New Jersey, and Rand Paul, a conservative Republican Senator from Kentucky, have found a common cause, introducing legislation to let select terminally ill patients have access to psychedelics and other Schedule I drugs.
Some 400 companies are conducting research on psychedelics. Researchers must have a license from the DEA to obtain and study the substances, Andrea Gomez, assistant professor of neurobiology at UC Berkeley, told reporters.
She said growing interest in the potential of these drugs might lead more researchers to "jump through the hoops" to get the licenses. The floodgates would truly open if the National Institutes of Health started funding studies, she said.
Alicia Ault is a Lutherville, Maryland-based freelance journalist whose work has appeared in publications including JAMA and Smithsonian.com. You can find her on Twitter @aliciaault.
For more Medscape Psychiatry news, join us on Facebook and Twitter.
Firm attracts partners in six countries with client-centric culture, cross-border collaboration and strong leadership
Boyden growth in EMEA
New York, July 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Boyden, a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries, is delighted to announce further growth across Europe and the Middle East, with partner promotion and new joiners in Hungary, Greece & Cyprus, London, Madrid, Poland and United Arab Emirates.
Trina D. Gordon, President & CEO of Boyden comments, “Boyden’s accelerating growth continues as we deliver exceptional outcomes to clients in today’s challenging global environment. Our strong collaborative culture, industry expertise and cross-border capabilities allow us to attract premiere professionals worldwide to serve our innovative and dynamic clients”.
Spiros Mavrogalos is promoted to Partner in Greece & Cyprus, providing executive search and leadership consulting to clients in financial services, private equity & venture capital, industry and professional services. Spiros has 25 years’ experience in operational leadership, and holds a number of high profile appointments, including Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Europa Insurance Co., and Member of the Board, Alpha Bank, Greece.
Yvonne Dederick joins as a Partner in Hungary, working with clients in digital media & communications, financial services and professional services. She is a leading boardroom advisor and strategist, and active supporter of aspiring leaders as: Mentor/Founder, Yvonne Dederick-Athenaum Publishing Mentor Program for Young Professionals; and Founder/Leader Member, ‘Equalizer’ Google/TV2 Media Group Initiative to promote equal opportunity for women in business.
Daniel Harrison joins as a Principal, Boyden interim management in the United Kingdom. He is a highly regarded tech specialist with a strong track record in recruiting C-suite and other senior leaders in technology, particularly fintech and high growth PE-backed startups.
Luis Diaz-Obregon joins as a Principal in Spain, working with clients in professional services and real estate, leveraging his experience as a former M&A/corporate lawyer and consultant in finance, tax and compliance. He is an Associate Professor at IE Law School and teaches master classes in global corporate compliance and business law.
Moritz Herfert joins as a Partner in Poland, working with industrial clients, providing additional expertise in automotive, construction & building technology, and supply chain & logistics. He is a pioneer in executive search in Central and Eastern Europe, developing the industry first in Poland as part of a German, and international executive search firm. He leverages his expertise as a management consultant in identifying and attracting senior leaders for SMEs and multinational clients across the region.
Rony Nasser joins as a Principal in the United Arab Emirates, based in Dubai, working with famiy-owned businesses, multinationals and regional corporations. He is the co-author of several books, including 1000 Reasons Why Dubai, and Green Responsibility – An Essential Guide to Sustainability and Ethical Living.
Boyden is a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries. Our global reach enables us to serve client needs anywhere they conduct business. We connect great companies with great leaders through executive search, interim management and leadership consulting solutions. Boyden is ranked amongst the top companies on Forbes’ Americas Best Executive Recruiting Firms for 2021. For further information, visit www.boyden.com.
CONTACT: Chris Swee Boyden 9147470172 email@example.com