Ensuring that every autistic and other neurodiverse person who wants a meaningful career, gets a meaningful career.
Specialisterne is considered “The Gold Standard of Neurodiversity” by Harvard Business School because of our comprehensive and multi-tiered change management approach to recruitment and on-boarding. As companies undertake initiatives to improve their workforce by including neurodiverse individuals we are there to drive change through support in planning, training, sourcing, assessing and transitioning employees. We address change first internally by examining your company’s processes and attitudes. Our goal is to create an environment for diversity to thrive. Simultaneously we use our expansive network to source, recruit and prepare individual candidates, understanding their strengths and what they can offer an organization.
Specialisterne USA is a non-profit social enterprise that pioneered the Autism @ Work movement in the US. We partner with corporations, universities, high schools, and community agencies to create change by examining traditional recruiting, training and on-boarding practices to help companies to employ work ready neurodiverse talent.
Successful organizations realize standardized recruitment processes leave autistic and other neurodiverse talent behind. They know tapping into neurodiversity will bring new solutions to their teams, enhanced productivity and an increased bottom line. But understanding how to best access, recruit, onboard and manage neurodiverse talent can seem like an overwhelming endeavor.
By helping companies transform their traditional recruiting and talent acquisition models, and training managers to welcome and embrace neurodiversity, Specialisterne is helping systems across the globe to utilize the inherent skills of autistic and neurodiverse talent to create value for all.
AS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
• Leadership in your industry
• Productivity gains
• Quality Improvement
• Access to an untapped talent pool
• Better management practices
• Reputational enhancement
• Increased innovative capabilities
• Broad increases in employee engagement
As seen in the Harvard Business Review
“It’s becoming a part of our DNA as a company. We’re looking to make the program go from extraordinary to ordinary.”
– José Velasco, HEAD, SAP Autism At Work, U.S.
Some of the success stories
Test Specialist, IBM
“The idea of making it in the adult world was something I both welcomed and dreaded – welcomed because I wanted to be independent and contribute something to the world, dreaded because I wasn’t sure I could do it, and my difficulties interviewing for jobs despite my considerable technical skills made it hard to keep morale up. Specialisterne’s program granted me the tools and solutions around interviewing helped me to get the foot in the door I needed to work at a company that continues to surprise me with its dedication to respect and motivate its talent to grow. I feel incredibly blessed, even spoiled, and I thank Specialisterne so much for giving me that chance.” – Ingrid Weiss
“Ingrid has been a WONDERFUL attribute to our Testing Team. I have appreciated the positive energy she brings to the team and her willingness to help train colleagues in areas of her expertise. Ingrid approaches every task with a passion for technology and out of the box thinking. Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to watch as Ingrid grew into a leader on the IGNITE ASD team, stepping up to assist in awareness training for our Center and broader IBM. She is an inspiration and I feel honored to be her manager. Thank you Specialisterne for your training and assistance throughout!” – Amanda Dennis, IBM Delivery Manager – CIC Lansing
(Photo: Ingrid Weiss and her IBM Manager, Amanda Dennis, at the AAOM, Autism Alliance of Michigan, 2018 Gala.)
Computer Support Specialist at Specialisterne, USA
Despite having a BS from City College of New York, Eric spent several years unemployed, when he finally found an exciting job at Lanser Insurance. Although undiagnosed at the time, Eric had an understanding manager who he worked well with. When that manager left, the new one did not understand how to work with Eric and fired him. Eric was unemployed for several years when he gave up looking for meaningful employment and took work watching surveillance videos and as a messenger.
It was during this time of underemployment that Eric was diagnosed as having Aspergers. The diagnosis was a breath of fresh air as it finally made sense of the seemingly uphill battle to gain meaningful employment. Eric signed up with ACCESS VR who referred him to the AHRC program which was piloting the Specialisterne program. At that time Specialisterne was actively looking for a Computer Support Specialist, and Eric was quickly swept up by the Specialisterne USA team. Thorkil Sonne said “Eric is the perfect example of Neurodiversity at Work. He is highly skilled, motivated, honest, loyal and most importantly, he challenges us to work smarter and think differently on a daily basis.”
Lab Engineer, Microsoft
Katie Hart, a candidate referred by DVR, participated in the first class at Microsoft. Today, Microsoft have 50 hires through their first 10 hiring cohorts.
Katie began the Specialisterne and Microsoft program in May 2015. Over the next month the Employment Services Manager for PROVAIL introduced Katie and other candidates to the Specialisterne recruitment model utilizing business concepts including The SCRUM Agile Methodology, programing techniques, quality assurance testing, and presentation skills. Katie had an opportunity to work with LEGO Education Mindstorm Robots and Visual Studios doing programming and coding for various projects. Hiring managers from Microsoft visited demonstrations at the end of each week. In her off hours, Katie learned more about Agile Business Models and Scrum Meetings/Project Management.