Aug 22, 2014 • 23M

#91: Nonprofit Creating Jobs For 100,000 People With Autism

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Devin Thorpe
Some of the world's great changemakers join host Devin Thorpe to share leadership lessons you can use to increase your impact.
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August 19, 2014 - Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: or on Stitcher by clicking here: An expected 500,000 adults with autism are expected to begin seeking employment over the next decade as a tidal wave of young adults with autism age out of school and other programs. A Danish father of an autistic son is leading an effort to create gainful employment opportunities for these gifted individuals. By helping employers to see an employee with autism as having unique personality strengths, especially in information technology settings, Thorkil Sonne is helping to address this growing demographic problem. Sonne launched Specialisterne USA, a nonprofit, to “enable 100,000 jobs in the U.S.” The organization assess, trains and employs individuals with autism in IT and other technically oriented sectors. They report that 80% of their employees are working at corporate partner locations. According to a New York Times article, his work in the U.S. grew out of his success in Denmark. He created Specialisterne there after studying autism for several years as a father. He’d also observed his son’s special abilities and recognized that people with autism can do some tasks better than those without.