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Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS :: Asperger Technical

 

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 Post subject: Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:47 pm 
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Joined: 3rd April, 2007
Posts: 90
Danish IT company Specialisterne (Danish for "The Specialists") was founded in 2005 by Thorkil Sonne when his son was diagnosed with ASD. Currently three out of four of its employees have Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism. Specialisterne's employees are fabulous software testers. Their error rates are extremely low, and they often solve software tasks faster than average in the industry. There are proposals to set up an office in Glasgow in 2008 where the objective is to employ 500 software testers with ASD.

The Swedish consultancy company Left is Right only employs people with Asperger syndrome. It was founded in 2006 by Wiola Franken Boman who has a child with Autism. The company's vision is to capitalise on the high competence and intelligence that people with Asperger syndrome possess by supporting their handicapped social and communication skills.


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     Post subject: Re: Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS
    Post Number:#2  PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 8:34 pm 
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    Joined: 23rd June, 2007
    Posts: 35
    There's an article about Specialisterne in today's Independent on Sunday.

    It's sterling stuff and the sort of positive material we need to see in the mainstream press. People with AS aren't just kids and computer hackers. My biggest criticism is that the article gave an impression that people with AS favour repetitive and number-crunching tasks. In reality not all do and it's stereotypical to project these factors onto the whole AS population.


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       Post subject: Re: Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS
      Post Number:#3  PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 5:14 am 
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      Joined: 4th May, 2010
      Posts: 1
      The URL for Specialisterne has changed since the earlier post.
      It is now http://www.specialisterne.dk/english
      There are now 2 articles on Specialisterne in the Independent:
      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style ... 93057.html
      http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style ... 01627.html


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         Post subject: Re: Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS
        Post Number:#4  PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 4:51 pm 
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        Joined: 11th May, 2010
        Posts: 62
        Location: Leamington Spa, Warks, UK
        And another piece about Specialisterne in New Scientist, which ends on a very positive note:
        Quote:
        Sonne says it is not his intention to stereotype autistic people as data-entry drones. The IT connection is because that's where his experience lay, but he's already ramping up the operation to cater to individual preferences and talents.

        So what news of the Glasgow office?


        Last edited by Aeolienne on Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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           Post subject: Re: Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS
          Post Number:#5  PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:18 pm 
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          Site Admin

          Joined: 1st June, 2007
          Posts: 48
          Thanks for these updates.


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             Post subject: Re: Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS
            Post Number:#6  PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:28 pm 
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            Joined: 11th May, 2010
            Posts: 62
            Location: Leamington Spa, Warks, UK
            Aeolienne wrote:
            And another piece about Specialisterne in New Scientist, which ends on a very positive note:
            Quote:
            Sonne says it is not his intention to stereotype autistic people as data-entry drones. The IT connection is because that's where his experience lay, but he's already ramping up the operation to cater to individual preferences and talents.

            So what news of the Glasgow office?


            It would appear the Glasgow office is now up and running; see here. On a related note, I've recently registered an interest in AutismWorks, who seem to be recruiting for a a business modelled on similar lines. They also have a Facebook page.

            Additionally, I had the following correspondence with their spokesman Peter MacDonald:

            Aeolienne wrote:
            I see you are in Newcastle. What sort of support will you offer to new recruits who might have to relocate from other areas of the country?


            Peter MacDonald wrote:
            As we're part of ESPA* we can offer support for new recruits in terms of signposting, advice on local services, and personalised support and care in the workplace. We cannot offer financial support for relocation expenses as we don't have the necessary funds yet. Hope this answers your question.


            Aeolienne wrote:
            So would this include advice about desirable/less desirable areas to live in Tyne & Wear, or a checklist of everything that needs to be done when moving house?

            Is ESPA unique, or do other areas of the UK have equivalent specialist services?


            Peter MacDonald wrote:
            Yes we would help to provide advice regarding areas to live and general information on the locale. Obviously everyone is different and our aim would be to be as supportive as possible depending upon the individual's experience, confidence and degree of independence, this may therefore include things like checklists for moving house.

            ESPA isn't unique in the UK, but in terms of services offered it is probably one of the most diverse, and certainly the largest in the North East of England.


            * No relation to the cosmetics company, presumably


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               Post subject: Re: Scandinavian IT companies employing people with AS
              Post Number:#7  PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:24 am 
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              Joined: 11th May, 2010
              Posts: 62
              Location: Leamington Spa, Warks, UK
              Update: Specialisterne closed its sole UK office last year. Link
              Incidentally, earlier in 2012 Specialisterne had been subject to a critical article in Asperger United (page 14, here). Coincidence?


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