Specialisterne Proves its Social-economic Value to Denmark

Specialisterne Proves its Social-economic Value to Denmark

The Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) today published a report proving the social-economic value of Specialisterne’s employment of people with autism to the Danish economy and on Danish society. The Specialisterne Impact Analysis Report shows that in the five-year period from 2008-2012 people with autism employed by or through Specialisterne have generated a net value of DKK 13.5 million for the Danish state. Continue reading

SAP Wins Honorable Mention in 2013 Innovations in Diversity Competition

Honorable mention of SAP in 2013 Innovations in Diversity for Collaboration with Specialisterne

SAP has won an honorable mention in the 2013 Innovations in Diversity Competition for it’s ongoing collaboration with Specialisterne to empower and employ people with autism in the SAP Labs workforce. Read about Empowering and employing people with autism

The competition, run by http://www.anppcanug.org/ the Profiles in Diversity Journal, honors corporations, organizations and institutions that have developed innovative solutions in the areas of workforce diversity and inclusion. The winners’ innovations and successes will be featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s July/August 2013 issue. The goal of sharing these innovations is to help others progress and bring change in the area of human equity. See the full list of the winners in the July/August issue here.

Specialisterne USA Hires its First Consultants in Delaware

Specialisterne USA has hired its first group of consultants. The six consultants, all with diagnoses on the autism spectrum, are now official Specialisterne USA employees. The new consultants are fresh off the four-week Assessment and Training Entry Program, which took place at the facilities of our founding corporate partner CAI in Delaware.

“It’s really wonderful to see our new consultants at work, making valuable contributions to the labor market,” says Thorkil Sonne, Specialisterne Founder. “Our goal is to create one million jobs for people with autism and similar disorders, and every hire takes us one step closer to achieving that goal.” Continue reading

CAI and Specialisterne Announce National Partnership to Employ People with Autism

Specialisterne USA has secured yet another global IT partner committed to employing people with autism.  CAI, a global Information Technology consulting, outsourcing and systems integration company announced May 29, 2013 a National Founding Partnership with Specialisterne USA to train and hire people with autism. With over 800 associates in the Delaware Valley, and 3,300 in the U.S., CAI plans that, before the end of 2015, over 3% of its consultant workforce will be people with autism, in technology roles such as software testing, data quality assurance, programming, data mining and data entry.

Like Specialisterne, CAI sees an innovative opportunity to leverage the unique talents of people with autism, while providing them a roadmap to develop meaningful IT careers. In the USA, it is estimated that one in every 88 people are impacted by autism. Continue reading

Specialisterne Gain Momentum with Announcement of Upcoming Operations in Spain

Barcelona, April 22, 2013.  Specialisterne Founder Thorkil Sonne announced Monday that Specialisterne will launch operations in Spain this summer 2013. The announcement came at the “Social Innovation for Companies” event in Barcelona on Monday.  “I’m delighted to announce that we will be replicating the Specialisterne model in Spain. We believe we have a wonderful opportunity here to enable jobs for people with autism and similar challenges in the Spanish labor market, and I look forward to our collaboration.”

spain-images-300x225Organized by the City Council of Barcelona, local organization UpSocial and Obra Social “la Caixa”, and attended by over 300 people, with representatives from the social, public and private sector, the goal of the event was to showcase innovations from around the world that have been successful in improving the employment and employability of persons with disabilities. Specialisterne was one of five innovations that received special commendation, along with My Life in the UK, Shekulo Tov in Israel, Discovering Hands in Germany and Asociación Civil Andar in Argentina. Continue reading

A Day to Remember for Specialisterne USA, Southwest Region

World Autism Awareness Day 2013 – A Day to remember

World Autism Day proved to be a day to remember for Specialisterne USA’s Southwest Region operation, beginning with a commendation in the State Senate and the State House of Representatives, and ending with a successful fundraiser. “We had a fantastic day,” says Steen Thygesen, CEO Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation). “Operations in the Southwest may be in their infancy, but today proved that we have already made a remarkable impact in the region. I couldn’t be more positive about the potential we have here.” Continue reading

Ireland welcomes Specialisterne

New initiative to create unique Jobs in Irish IT Sector for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders

DUBLIN, IRELAND (13 December, 2012) at SAP Ireland, Citywest, Dublin 24: Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation), the Danish non-profit organisation leading a global movement to create one million jobs for people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), today officially launched Specialisterne (The Specialists) in Ireland with the intention to create numerous new jobs across the country over the next 5 years. The new roles will help individuals with ASD leverage their unique abilities in real-life work settings, and to find value adding roles on market terms, particularly in the IT sector. Continue reading

“The Autism Advantage” – New York Times Magazine

Gareth Cook, a Pulitzer Prize winner and a columnist for The Boston Globe, has had a seminal piece published in the New York Times Magazine chronicling the story of Specialisterne and the quest of Thorkil Sonne to create meaningful jobs for people with autism and similar challenges.

The article “The Autism Advantage” details the past development of Specialisterne, the stories of people working within the social enterprise, and the efforts to bring the model into the US. Read more about Specialisterne USA here.

A version of this article is available in the Sunday Magazine edition of December 2, 2012, with the headline: Autism Inc.nyt_m_logo-300x41

Listen also to the pod cast “Jobs For The Autistic” as featured in the program On Point from 90.9 WBUR-FM, Boston’s NPR news station, broadcasted on December 3rd, 2012 with Gareth Cook, Thorkil Sonne as well as Randy Lewis, senior vice president of distribution and logistics, Walgreens, and Leslie Long, director of Adult Services for Autism Speaks.

2012 Social Entrepreneur award to Thorkil Sonne from the Schwab Foundation

Schwab_Found_NEW_Logo2012-300x162Tianjin, People’s Republic of China, 10 September 2012 

Together with twenty-five other social entrepreneurs, Thorkil Sonne of the Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) have been recognized by the Schwab Foundation as 2012 Social Entrepreneur awardees. Drawn from a pool of more than 1,000 global applicants, the winners are selected in recognition of their innovative approaches and demonstrated impact. Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, presented the awards during a reception at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions on September 11.Hilde-Schwab-and-Thorkil-Sonne

Please read more about the details on the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2012 and the innovative projects of each of the twenty-six social entrepreneurs.
Continue reading

Visit by EU Commissioner Andor

Today we had the pleasure of hosting a visit for the EU Commissioner. The meeting took place at Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) and included a visit at Specialisterne.

It was great to have the opportunity to go in depth with the Specialisterne concept and discuss how we can contribute to solve the labour market dilemma by assessing, training and employing people who can provide valuable services in the STEM sector.

Commissioner Andor showed great interest and we had a constructive discussion about how the Specialisterne knowhow in a European context can benefit individuals with disabilities, the corporate sector and the public sector.