Why Some Companies Are Trying to Hire More People on the Autism Spectrum

“The majority of those with autism are unemployed, but new pilot programs at big companies, such as EY and Microsoft, are discovering unexpected benefits from having “neurodiverse” colleagues.”

“But Austin says that ultimately these programs have to make sense for the company’s bottom line.The pilot programs — which companies go into with little expectation — have been producing good results in terms of finding new talent and productivity gains. “Ultimately, it’s not a charity thing because it’s providing far more benefit than it’s costing. Every company I know that’s gone into this in a serious way has gone into it with the idea that this is going to be net benefit positive,” he says.”

Read the whole article: Why Some Companies Are Trying to Hire More People on the Autism Spectrum

Congrats SAP, HPE, Giovani, Conner, Robert, Harkin and Humanity

Today is United Nations Human Rights Day.

I am humbled through Specialisterne Foundation to be associated with the UN and be a small gear in the giant machinery of humanity.

Today is a day to celebrate business giants SAP and HPE for their contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goal 8: Promote Sustained, Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, Full and Productive Employment and Decent Work for All.

I was proud to be sharing the SDG 8 panel at the UN World Autism Awareness Day April 2nd this year with Jose Velasco, SAP, and Michael Fieldhouse, HPE. Together we announced a collaboration sponsored by Bill McDermott, CEO SAP, and Meg Whitman, CEO HPE, to remove some of the barriers to employment and create greater inclusion and acceptance for autistic people.

The collaboration has shown the world that employment of autistic people is the right thing to do for your business and that autistic people has a natural role to play in the labor market.

On this UN Human Rights Day, we should celebrate the story of Giovani, SAP, who was diagnosed as autistic late in life. And we should celebrate the stories of Conner and Robert, HPE, who were diagnosed as autistic while young.

Giovani, Conner and Roberts are true role models for autistic people with or without diagnosis and for employers who have not yet opened their eyes for the Autism Advantage.

Another true role model is Senator Harkin. I had the privilege to participate in the Harkin Summit where thought leaders from 31 countries were invited to share knowledge, inspire and connect with the purpose to promote disability inclusion in the global work force. We were all energized and committed to advance individual and joined efforts for a world with equal opportunities for all in the labor market.

Congratulations SAP and HPE for your business leadership.

Congratulations Giovani, Conner and Robert for your role model leadership.

Congratulations Senator Harkin for being a connector and role model for the global community.

Congratulations Humanity for governments, business leaders, foundations and grass roots organizations and individuals promoting Human Rights every day somewhere in the world.

Specialisterne is seeking funding for research to identify and remove barriers in the education system and labor market to ensure that one million autistic people in all communities and countries will get a fair opportunity to realize their potential in the labor market.

Thorkil Sonne

Founder, Specialisterne Foundation

CEO, Specialisterne USA

Autistic employees can give companies an edge in innovative thinking

The Guardian article on Specialisterne

“More companies are ditching the stereotypes of Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man and Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, and realising the benefits of employing people on the autism spectrum”. The benefits of hiring people with autism include: high attention to detail, high work ethic and quality of work.

The focus have been on the IT sector, where many large companies have benefited from hiring people with autism. However, the competencies of people with autism is not limited to the IT sector. Like everybody else, they have different interests and skills. Specialisterne Australia has recently launched “the Autism and Agriculture employment scheme to develop career paths for those with autism in specialist animal care roles”. Specialisterne Foundation and Specialisterne are always looking into other industries for employment opportunities for people with autism.

Autistic employees can give companies an edge in innovative thinking

How and why we should ‘learn directly from disabled people’

Learning Directly from disabled people

“Learning Directly from disabled people” was recently published by bdi. Specialisterne Foundation is a strategic partner to bdi and is proud to share the publication.

The publication is divided in three parts, it will:

“1. Help senior global business leaders understand why learning directly from disabled people is essential, and the business performance imperative

2. Give practical advice on how an organisation can create the framework to learn directly from disabled people as a matter of routine

3. Inspire colleagues with case studies from organisations that have benefited directly from the knowledge and experiences of disabled people”

You can download the publication directly on bdi’s website and receive information about future publications.


THIS WORKS Summit – Scaling Solutions for Employment and Recovery in Southern Europe

In June this year, Ashoka hosted a one day event “THIS WORKS Summit” in Brussels.

The purpose of the summit, was to show 10 examples of proven social innovations to inspire and scale new solutions across Europe, with a special focus on the recovery of Southern Europe.

Read more about the event on This Works’ website This Works Summit.

1:25 minutes into the video, Specialisterne Foundation’s director (former Specialist People Foundation), Henrik, sums up who Specialisterne is and the need for employment in Europe, in just over a minute.

Specialisterne Foundation

We are pleased to announce, that we have now finalised our name change in the foundation. From today and forward, our name is Specialisterne Foundation.
We want to emphasise the strong link between the foundation’s work and our local Specialisterne units across the world. We are all working towards the same goal – enabling jobs for people with autism and creating a more inclusive labour market.

We hope that our new name will create less confusion and a closer link to the work we and the different Specialisterne units do.

Microsoft taps into the potential of autistic workers

Unique Microsoft hiring program opens more doors to people with autism

Microsoft is another software giant that has seen the potential of autistic workers. Their hiring program works as a practical interview process, where the applicants get a chance to demonstrate their skills.

Microsoft’s pilot program have already had two successful hiring rounds and they are continuously hiring people through the Microsoft Autism Hiring Program.

Read the article and Meet Kyle, who was recently hired by Microsoft, as a result of their adaptation of the Specialisterne model.

A New Approach to Hiring Autistic People

This Visionary May Completely Disrupt The Tech Industry As We Know It

Recently, Forbes published an article about Specialisterne’s and Specialisterne Foundation’s (former Specialist People Foundation) founder, Thorkil Sonne.

The article describes how lack of skilled workers in STEM jobs (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) correspond with some of the skills possessed by autistic people. It further describes the new approach to hiring autistic people through Work Design, Recruitment & Selection and Training & Development and how it differs from the traditional approach.

Read the full article This Visionary May Completely Disrupt The Tech Industry As We Know It

Firms are increasingly hiring employees on the spectrum. Here’s why.

More and more companies are starting to see the benefits of hiring autistic people

We are very pleased with the success of Specialisterne clients Towers Watson, SAP and HP, who are on-boarding autistic people into competitive jobs in the core of their business.

Read the BBC article: Firms are increasingly hiring employees on the spectrum. Here’s why.

Association with the UN Department of Public Information

NGO Associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI) decided at their meeting 20 November 2015 to approve Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) for association with the UN DPI effective immediately.

The founder of Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation), Thorkil Sonne, stated that the affiliation with the UN DPI is a major milestone in the history of the organisation. As experienced at the UN World Autism Awareness Day 2015, the Call to Action on employment of autistic individuals by the General Secretary Ban Ki-moon resonates among global stakeholders.

Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) is very excited about strengthening the ties to the UN and support the General Secretary’s Call to Action across the globe.