Specialisterne is a non-profit enterprise that works together with universities, corporations, community agencies, and high schools to make change by employing diverse talents, including people with autism.
The company is successfully operating in 12 countries and for now, they’ve created more than 10,000 jobs for people with distinct abilities.
The brain child of Thorkil Sonne, whose son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, was launched with the help of his family’s support and belief in his vision.
The foundation isn’t just here to help autistic people to thrive, but to inspire them to get education and show industries the quality in terms of skills that they can offer.
Helping the Ones in Need
As a president of a local Autism Denmark chapter, he learned that it’s not easy for individuals with an ASD to benefit from their skills on the market.
His goal for the foundation is to create million job vacancies on a global level for autistic people. He believes that these people often have skills that can be of great aid for companies, including a great eye for detail or excellent memory.
Moreover, they also have a structural way of working, are able to think outside the box, and can perform repetitive tasks with ongoing enthusiasm.
For his organization, these are ‘specialist people’- individuals with a business potential which can be used if properly directed through the right management and understanding.
The company’s mission is to gather and share knowledge which will help those with autism to succeed on the market of labor. They’re moving towards their primary goal (1 million vacancies for people with autism) in several different ways.
Here are the major ones:
- Creating and respecting the skills and rights of people with autism based on UN Convention, The Rights of Person with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals
- Supporting labor market stakeholders to include autistic people on the market of labor
- Encouraging the development and an international marketing of the company-local licensees that will base business models on assessment, training, and employment of people with autism
The company is currently found in Denmark, US, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Austria, Norway, Iceland, Italy, and Singapore. They also have collaborations in Argentina, China, India and the Czech Republic, but have no local offices there.
They’ve also hired autistic individuals for numerous different positions, including data entry, programming, and software testing.
They offer a 6-month assessment program during which the potential candidates perform several tasks and are placed in different work situations. In this way, the HR can see their personalities and skills.
He’s also a part of a 3-year education program for people with Tourette’s, OCD, ADHD, and ADD. The idea is to provide education about the social and cultural differences, social behavior, and health.
The Future of Autistic People
Societal views, diagnosis, and understanding of the symptoms and treatment of autism has come a long way and now, people with ASD are viewed as important aspects of companies with one-of-a-kind skills.
Other companies throughout the world are interested in using the organization’s model when it comes to hiring people with autism.