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

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.

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 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

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

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.

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.”

Continue reading