United States

Raising awareness of autism


As the current national leader of RSM’s Abilities employee network group (ENG), I’m continuously thinking about how we can make it as easy as possible for those who are differently abled to connect and work with RSM. And with April being Autism Awareness Month, my mind naturally turns to how we can help those impacted by autism.

Every 11 minutes someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This bio-neurological development disability affects one in every 59 children in America, impacting four areas of development: (1) cognitive functioning, (2) social interactions, (3) behavior, and (4) communication skills.

With more than 10,000 people in 85 cities nationwide, it stands to reason that some of our people are impacted by autism.

So what can we at RSM – a provider of audit, tax and consulting services – do to help? Several things. First, our culture of flexibility enables our people to work where and when it’s most convenient for them, while providing our clients with the first-class services they’ve come to expect from our firm. So if our people need flexibility during the “normal” work day to take care of themselves or family members, they’re able get that. We also provide a comprehensive benefits plan for our people, which includes health and wellness benefits as well as access to free coaching sessions to help them integrate work and life priorities. And we have 11 employee-led ENGs focused on making sure that all of our people feel welcome, and that they can connect with others across the firm who might be facing similar life experiences or events.

This April, our Abilities ENG leaders across the firm are selling Autism Awareness socks from John’s Crazy Socks at a number of our offices, with proceeds going to local organizations supporting those on the autism spectrum. We’ll also be wearing blue on April 2 (Global Autism Awareness Day) to show support for individuals and families affected by ASD.

I’m proud to be a part of RSM and our Abilities ENG, and proud of the inclusive culture we’ve created for our people.

Phillip Haase
Principal and National Abilities Employee Network Leader



Abilities strives to foster an environment that supports professionals or their dependents with special needs.