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Level It Up is dedicated to increasing the employment of Manitobans identifying as being on the autism spectrum in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math (STEAM). We are part of an international alliance of organizations and businesses, Neurowrx, working to advance this mission around the world.

Our Goal

We want to promote and support the hiring and employment of skilled autistic job seekers while increasing the knowledge and appreciation for this diverse and unique talent pool among Manitoba’s employers.

Our candidates are sourced from among those who identify as autistic, who have advanced education and/or training, and possess additional qualities known as the “Autism Advantage.”.

These qualities, in addition to their training and education, make them uniquely adept at not only filling but excelling in a wide range of employment outcomes.

The Autism Advantage includes:

  • Innate intelligence
  • Acute attention to detail
  • Intense focus
  • Ability to think and act in a logical manner
  • Ability to focus intently on even the most mundane of tasks
  • Exceptional memory
  • Thinking “outside the box”

And much more!

Manitoba’s business communities gain valuable assets in employing Level It Up job candidates and actively demonstrate their commitment to workforce diversity. Level It Up is here to help, every step of the way!

About Neurodiversity and the Autism Spectrum

Approximately 1 in 50 Canadians lives with autism. This form of neurodiversity, or the inherent diversity in the way the brain develops and functions among all humans, can have significant impacts on social interactions and behaviours. This may result in other people seeing their autistic peers and co-workers as “odd” or out of sync with those around them. 

Despite their skills and aptitudes in a wide range of interest areas and often their high level of educational attainment, in Canada, only 33% of autistic adults reported being employed compared to the 80% employment rate of adults without disabilities (Deloitte Canada, March 2022). Often, they are underemployed and experience social isolation from “typical co-workers.”

Given the current context where workplaces are experiencing labour shortages and a more transient workforce across many sectors, the diversity of skillsets coupled with the unique characteristics of individuals with autism spectrum are particularly valuable and beneficial to employers (e.g. Schall et al, 2012). 

Competitive and meaningful employment is easily achievable with cost-effective, evidence-based approaches to career counselling, pre-employment training and assessment, and on-the-job supports and accommodations.

Currently, there is a dearth of supports specifically focused on those with autism, especially after they have achieved higher education and training in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. Traditional supported employment services often concentrate on entry level employment for their clients who present with co-occurring intellectual disabilities, while traditional headhunting services are unable to provide the ongoing support that is often needed to ensure recruitment and employment success for autistic clients. At Level IT Up, we are here to fill the gap in services and supports our candidates encounter as they prepare for and work towards their employment goals.

Level It Up is here to fill that gap!

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Fast Facts

autism spectrum in Canada

In Canada, among children and youth 5 – 17 years of age, 1 in 50 (or 2%) have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Of these, 56% received their diagnosis by age 6 and more than 90% by the age of 12. Many remain un- or under-diagnosed, especially upon reaching adulthood.

five thousand children with autism

Over the next decade, an estimated 500,000 teens (50,000 each year) will enter adulthood and age out of school-based autism services.

headphones and other accomodation

Accommodation may be as simple as wearing noise cancelling headphones, being seated in a quieter area, adjusting local lighting to be less bright/glaring, using direct and clear communication processes.


Level IT Up is a registered non-profit organization governed by an amazing board of directors comprised of industry leaders, entrepreneurs, educators and autism experts. Under their leadership, Level IT Up is set to operate as one of the cutting edge social enterprises in Canada. Our ultimate goal is to advance and contribute to the employment and career advancement of Neurodiverse and autistic youth and adults in Canada and around the world.

Anne Kresta, MSc

Anne Kresta, MSc

President & Executive Director, Level It Up
President and Executive Director
Janine Montgomery, PhD

Janine Montgomery, PhD

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, School Psychology, University of Manitoba
Director At Large
Kelly Thibodeau

Kelly Thibodeau

Principal, Squarely Social
Director at large
Katherine Breward, PhD

Katherine Breward, PhD

Assistant Professor, Organizational Behaviour at University of Winnipeg
Director At Large
Ashleigh Lodge

Ashleigh Lodge

Digital Accessibility Advocate and Speaker. Product Team Lead, Neovation Learning Solutions
Director At Large
Brian Eckhardt

Brian Eckhardt

CEO, Infomagnetics Technologies Corporation
Director At Large
Melissa Harju

Melissa Harju

Client Delivery Director, Randstad Sourceright
Director At Large

Keep in Touch

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