Autism Awareness Month at John’s Crazy Socks
April is Autism Awareness Month and that is very important to us here at John’s Crazy Socks. We have a mission to show what people with differing abilities can do and that includes people with autism. We know the joy and contributions that people with autism bring to the world.
At John's Crazy Socks, we know that we all have differing abilities, we all have different strengths and weaknesses. We focus on what people can do; not what people cannot do. And we know that everyone has a part to play.
Of course, we hire people with autism. We do so not out of the goodness of our hearts, but because they are great employees and colleagues. Everyone here must produce and our colleagues with autism produce as well as anybody else in our organization. When interviewing these colleagues, when working with them, we do not see an autistic person, we see a co-worker who does a job well and happens to have autism.
Saying Thank You to Those Who Support People with Autism
Autism Awareness month is a good time to say thank you to all the people who support our colleagues and friends who have autism. Our co-founder John Cronin understands. He has Down syndrome and works hard to lead his business. But as he says, it is my business, but I know I can only do what I do because of the support I receive from my Mom and Dad, my family, my colleagues, the teachers and aides I had in school, my Special Olympic coaches and so many more people. Thank you to all those supporting people who are autistic.
Actions Matter More than Words
At John’s Crazy Socks, it is important that we do more than simply pay lip service to supporting people with autism. We need to make our commitment manifest in our actions.
- Hiring People with Autism: Over half our employees have a differing ability and many are on the autism spectrum.
- We make our Autism Awareness Socks to promote autism awareness. We donate 10% from the sales of these socks to Autism Speaks and the Autism Society of America.
- We sponsor an Autism Can Do Scholarship, a $5,000 scholarship for a person who is autistic to use for more education (school, training, anything they want). The Doug Flutie Junior Foundation for Autism is a co-sponsor of this scholarship.
- We advocate for the rights of people with differing abilities including people with autism. John and Mark have testified twice before Congress and spoken at the United Nations on issues concerning the rights of people with differing abilities. Just this week, they participated in two virtual meetings with Congressional leaders pushing for legislation to pay people fairly (eliminate the sub-minimum wage) and to allow people to save more money (allow employers to contribute to ABLE accounts).
- We speak to groups large and small including schools, conferences and corporations (e.g., Microsoft, EY, Campbells, Bank of America, and others). In our presentations, we highlight what people with differing abilities can do and urge other employers to hire people with differing abilities.
- We participate in industry groups so we can advocate for people with differing abilities. This includes the CEO Commission on Disability Employment, the Autism@Work Employer Roundtable and the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM).
John’s Crazy Socks is a social enterprise meaning we have both a social mission and a business mission. These missions are indivisible and feed off each other. At its core, we are spreading happiness, but we do that by showing what people with differing abilities can do, by giving back and by making personal connections with customers.
We are always grateful for our customers. Our customers make this all possible. When you purchase from John’s Crazy Socks, you help us hire people with differing abilities, you help us give back, you help us spread happiness.