The leader of the United Nations is calling on businesses around the world to step up and do their part in employing people with autism.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is launching a “call to action,” urging employers to make “concrete commitments” to hire those on the spectrum.

“We encourage public offices, corporations and small businesses to have a closer look at the way they perceive people with autism, to take the time to learn about the condition and to create life-changing opportunities,” Ban said.

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The announcement came Thursday during events at U.N. headquarters in New York to mark World Autism Awareness Day.

As part of the call to action, employers are being asked to commit to a quantifiable increase in the proportion of their workforce that is comprised of individuals with the developmental disorder.

“People with autism have enormous potential,” Ban said. “That is why it is so important for companies to understand their unique and often exceptional skills, and to enable work environments where they can excel. This requires appropriate vocational training and adequate support alongside a recruitment process that can allow people to successfully integrate into workforces around the world.”

U.N. officials say they plan to recognize businesses that pledge to increase employment of those on the spectrum during next year’s autism awareness day activities.

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