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

Putting people with disabilities to work in Delaware

A new exciting collaboration

Specialisterne USA and The Precisionists is working together to enable jobs for people with disabilities.

Ernie Dianastasis, a now former executive in one of the largest tech companies in Delaware, CAI, is putting his life savings at risk by launching The Precisionists. The new company’s workforce will largely be made up of people with disabilities – a class of worker largely ignored by corporate America. Nearly 57 million Americans – 20 percent of the U.S. population – live with some form of physical or mental disability, including about 112,000 Delawareans. Yet the national unemployment rate for working-age people with disabilities was 11.7 percent in 2015 – more than double the rate for the non-disabled.

Read more about The Precisionists and the background in The News Journal’s article Putting people with disabilities to work in Delaware.

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.

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 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

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

“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.