“The value of what you see depends on who you are.”
Specialisterne translates from Danish as “The Specialists”, and is the name of the original Danish company and concept developed by Thorkil Sonne in 2004 after his young son was diagnosed with autism.
Thorkil realised we should focus on the abilities and strengths of autistic and neurodiverse jobseekers including attention to detail, high accuracy, innovative thinking, loyalty and honesty rather than the ‘disability’.
Watch Thorkil’s heartfelt and passionate address at the World Economic Forum in 2019. This man created a whole company to help find his autistic son a job.
Established in 2015, Specialisterne Australia assists businesses in recruiting and supporting people on the autism spectrum. We work with companies seeking to diversify their workforce and help to find talented autistic job seekers / candidates looking for a career in that area, for mutually beneficial outcomes. We recognise that autistic individuals offer a range of skills that can be of benefit to any job. We use a unique process to assess potential employees that removes the barriers experienced by autistic adults in the traditional recruitment process. We then work to support the individual and employee in their transition and build the capacity of the employer to support their autistic staff members. We help workplaces to understand the unique strengths of their employee/s on the spectrum and implement strategies across all levels of business and teams including line managers and colleagues to help their autistic colleagues utilise their skills to be successful and valued for their work in an inclusive and supportive workplace.
Specialisterne’s global vision is to enable one million careers for people on the autism spectrum through social entrepreneurship, corporate sector engagement and a global change in mind-set. In Australia our portion of this pledge is 12,000 careers by 2030. The Specialisterne employment concept has been successfully implemented around the world in Denmark, USA, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Austria, Australia, Singapore and Italy.
Specialisterne Australia was established as a Social Enterprise in 2015. We are one of the first organisations in the world to highlight the benefits of an autistic and neurodiverse workforce.
A world where people are given equal opportunities in the labour market.
To educate stakeholders in talent and career development for autistic people through innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Weed or herb? You decide.
Our logo is the seed of the dandelion.
To most people, the dandelion is known as a weed. But what a lot of people don’t know is that, when cultivated, the dandelion is one of the most valuable and useful plants in nature. The dandelion is known for its nutritional, healing and medicinal properties. The value of a dandelion is dependent on our knowledge and perception of its value.
If you place a dandelion plant in your kitchen garden and cultivate it, it can be one of your most valuable plants. Dandelions are used to make beer, wine, salads, and natural medicine. Quite simply, if you choose to cultivate dandelions, you will reap their rewards. So is a dandelion a weed or a herb? You decide. The value of what you see depends on your understanding and accommodation.
A weed is a plant in an environment where it is not welcomed. If the plant is transferred to an environment where it is welcomed – it turns into a herb.
People on the autism spectrum often struggle to feel welcome in the labour market. Specialisterne strives to understand and accommodate people on the spectrum in order to make them feel welcomed. On our logo, the blue square around the dandelion represents the open sky of opportunities, with a rounded corner to illustrate that even though we are in a tough market, we take into consideration individual needs when creating our work environment.
The “I” letters in Specialisterne have the yellow color of the mature dandelion flower, to underscore the link between the logo and the name of the foundation.
We firmly believe that it is not the individual who must change, but the way the labour market is conducted- so that dandelions can thrive.
Specialisterne Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation with the goal to generate meaningful employment for one million autistic/neurodivergent persons through social entrepreneurship, corporate sector engagement and a global change in mindset.
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