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

UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities

“After class at the university I stood up to a bully”, my son told me yesterday. After he had entertained and impressed his co-students by listing all states and all state capitals, a situation unfolded where a student was bullied.

“I wish someone had stood up, when I was being bullied at school years ago” he told me.

My son is autistic, the bully was not. Who is the disabled person?

Yesterday, taking a stand for the victim, my son turned the tables. I am so proud.

Look up “disability” in the dictionary and you will find words like: incapacity, impairment, defect… In autistic employees at companies like SAP and HPE I see: honesty, skills and resilience. I also see vulnerabilities that we as a society have to manage in order for autistic people to excel. This is not just a responsibility for employers, but for parents, the education system and the government.

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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

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.

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.

Are we at the beginning of a bigger movement in diversity? Find the answer in this Forbes article

Are we at the beginning of a bigger movement in diversity? Find the answer in this Forbes article The Benefits Of Recruiting Employees With Autism Spectrum Disorder

We are experiencing a new frontier in diversity programmes. Neurodiversity is a different way of thinking diversity and is slowly changing the way companies think of Human Resources.

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.

Blog post from Thorkil Sonne: Bigger than we are

Bigger than we are

My youngest son made me a social entrepreneur when he was diagnosed with autism. I realized that when it comes to developing and utilizing the talents of autistic people – we have a broken system. Approximately 1% of the world’s population may be autistic and face an un/underemployment rate of up to 80%.

The more I got to know my son, the more I appreciated that he was different, not less, and it was clear to us as his parents, that he deserved the same chance to realize his potential as his older brothers.

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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.