A neurodiverse hiring platform
This past year, I founded a startup called Mentra that is a recruiting platform for companies to hire and accommodate people with autism and enhance their interview and onboarding experience at inclusive companies. I worked with a team of 5 developers and 3 designers to design and launch our platform - created with the help of autistic candidates at every step of the way.
A short video advertisement of Mentra with autistic candidates using our web app.
My Role as a designer
Envisioning and designing an accessible future of neurodiverse hiring.
As the lead designer on the team, and a researcher in the field of autism at the School of Interactive Computing, I conducted extensive research with autistic individuals, recruiters, parents, and vocational therapy centers in order to create a solution that serves the needs of the population. I hired and worked with designers and engineers to implement this solution. We also worked alongside autistic individuals to get their feedback at every step of the way.
Since this project started from scratch, we designed an entire product and design system, using the Stanford D. School design methodology, by centering each step around the needs of the autistic candidates and recruiters we worked with.
Taylor and Seltzer
In the U.S, over 500,000 young adults on the Autism spectrum will age out from federally-supported educational systems by 2025. If current trends continue, between 66-86% of these autistic adults will unemployed/underemployed, leaving them with no meaningful activities to engage in, and no chance to support their expenses.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IN THE UNITED STATES
OVERALL US POPULATION UNEMPLOYED
AUTISTIC INDIVIDUALS UNEMPLOYED
Large scale impact on the autistic community
Personal impact on individuals on the autism spectrum
I am a the president of ASAA and am currently working as a Data Analyst at the Piedmont Group. In my interviews,I have trouble explaining the difficulties of my autism to employers and have to go through several interviews to do so.
I am trying to find a job and the whole process is extremely time consuming and I often lose motivation because most autistics struggle to get jobs anyways. I cannot earn money and have to depend on my mother's income.
Our research phase lasted for around 9 months with a team of 3 user researchers who interviewed and observed over 50 individuals with autism and stakeholders in the ecosystem. We partnered with Autism Self Advocacy of Atlanta to attend events and learn from autistic candidates. By synthesizing the notes into a condensed service blueprint, we spotted the breakdowns repetitively accumulated around the accommodation requesting flow.