Specialisterne Foundation Completes HIPE4ASD Project

Specialisterne Foundation Completes HIPE4ASD Project

HIPE logo

The Help for Instant Professional Efficiency for Autism Spectrum Disorder (HIPE4ASD) project is an initiative funded by the European Commission’s Leonardo da Vinci Programme. It was started in 2012 by the Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) and six other Eu-logoEuropean partners in France, Greece, Italy and Spain. The purpose of this project was to develop a training course for individuals involved in the care, coaching or management of people with ASD in their work place. Continue reading

Specialisterne Foundation and Australia Join Forces to Employ People with Autism

Specialisterne Foundation and HP Australia Join Forces

For the first time in Australia, the Department of Human Services and HP Australia will work together with Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) to provide skilled employment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Minister for Human Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne said an agreement between the three organisations, which will provide 12 candidates with employment through a three-year traineeship, was signed last night. Continue reading

Royal Recognition for Specialisterne in Poland

Royal Recognition for Specialisterne

Specialisterne Fundacja Polska was among the organisations profiled in the recent Danish Royal Visit to Poland. Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark (pictured above with Specialisterne Foundation COO Henrik Thomsen, Danish Minister for Health Nick Hækkerup and Specialisterne Candidate Dominik Warzecha) paid an official visit to Poland from May 12-14, heading up a Danish business promotional campaign. The visit focused on Danish-Polish trade in a number of areas, including, fashion and design, energy and the environment, and health and rehab.  The goal of the two-day event was to support and promote current Danish businesses in Poland, and to help plant new seeds of opportunity for Danish companies wishing to establish themselves there.

Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess Mary of Denmark speaking with SPF CFO Henrik Thomsen (left) and Danish Minister for Health Nick Hækkerup.

Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess Mary of Denmark speaking with Specialisterne Foundation COO Henrik Thomsen (left) and Danish Minister for Health Nick Hækkerup.

During the visit, a number of organisations were presented to the Royal couple, including Specialisterne Fundacja Polska, which fell under the Health category. Representatives from  the Polish Foundation as well as the Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) had the opportunity to present the concept and methods used within Specialisterne organisations around the globe. Continue reading

Specialisterne Launches in Canada

Specialisterne Launching in Canada

TORONTO, November 5th, 2013 –Specialisterne Foundation (former Specialist People Foundation) announced today that it has launched Specialisterne operations in Canada. Specialisterne Canada Inc., with headquarters in Toronto and offices in Vancouver and Quebec City, is teaming up with government, community and corporate partners to provide people on the autism spectrum with the opportunity to obtain meaningful and sustained employment.

“There is so much opportunity for us in Canada to create meaningful and productive jobs for the growing number of people diagnosed with autism,” says Thorkil Sonne, Founder of Specialisterne. “There is clearly a readiness and excitement here and we are confident that the combination of our operational experience from 11 countries, and a very strong and dedicated team in Canada, will bring about the sort of change that will benefit all stakeholders.” 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

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.
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The Specialisterne Foundation opens for business in the State of Delaware

Gov. Jack Markell of the State of Delaware today joined Thorkil Sonne, Founder and President of The Specialisterne Foundation, and Thère du Pont, President of the Longwood Foundation, in a special announcement about funding to facilitate the employment of Delawareans with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The announcement took place Friday June 15th 2012 in the Community Service Building in Wilmington, where the Specialisterne Foundation will be headquartered among other non-profit organizations.

Markell_on_podio_122x160Markell praised Specialisterne’s commitment to establishing jobs for individuals with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and for working with businesses to match people’s skills with the appropriate positions. The governor said Specialisterne’s passion and ambition for employing individuals is similar to his for the people of Delaware. “I am working to create jobs for all Delawareans, including people with a range of disabilities.”

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Specialisterne in Denmark receives Growth Capital

Specialisterne Denmark have received an injection of growth capital from the newly established The Social Capital Fund (“Den Sociale Kapitalfond”), Denmark’s first social venture fund, which is focusing on investing capital and competencies in promising social entrepreneurs to scale their social impact and economic performance.

The Chairman of The Social Capital Fund, Ms. Gurli Martinussen, calls Specialisterne a prime example of social entrepreneurship: “Specialisterne have spotted a unique potential in people who often is seen as a vulnerable group in society, and used this potential to create exciting and meaningful jobs. It is a sustainable social solution that also helps to further develop the understanding of how we create more opportunities for everyone in society. It is exactly the type of businesses we want to help spread and develop,” she says.

For Specialisterne Denmark the new financial platform will make an important difference in its endeavours to create more jobs for people with autism spectrum disorders. CEO Henrik Thomsen says: “We have lacked growth capital to exploit our potential in the market to a greater extent and expand our team of consultants with autism spectrum disorders. Where Specialisterne might have been too “social” for some commercial investors, but too “commercial” for some social funders, we have in the Social Capital Fund encountered an investor with the social aspect as a priority as well as knowledge and resources to help us in our business mission to create further sustainable jobs. We will now be able to take major step forward and get much more ‘specialist people’ in work”.

http://www.densocialekapitalfond.dk/ (danish)

Specialisterne Acknowledged as Best Practice in Essl Foundation Report

Specialisterne has been acknowledged as one of 27 good practice examples in the Essl Foundation’s Zero Project 2012 Report. The report is an international study on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities.


Commissioned by the Essl Foundation, the report is a commentary on the state of the UN Convention in 36 countries based on 21 social indicators. Read the full report here.