Danish company certifies people with autism

Education and exam form developed in cooperation with Danish IT Society and development company Delta.

People with autism rarely have diplomas. Many lack the piece of paper showing that they have finalized school because exams are too much of an obstacle.

This limits their career opportunities, and many never get a job because their handicap requires different settings than most Danish workplaces offer.

Fortunately, there is an IT company called Specialisterne. This is Danish for "The Specialists."

With few exceptions, the company only employs people who are normally not seen in Danish workplaces. Three out of four employees have ASD. Most have Asperger's Syndrome, which is a mild type of autism but a neutral incurable handicap.

Last week, the first three software testers were ISEB test certified, and according to Thorkil Sonne, founder and CEO of Specialisterne, the plan is for all employees to be certified within the areas where it is possible to achieve internationally recognized proficiency diplomas and certificates.

"Introducing a certification program is a milestone for us. People with autism do not have many things on their CV. Our objective is for everyone to go through the program," he says.

Does well in school

A person with Asperger's Syndrome is as capable of going to school and learning. But new surroundings, unfamiliar situations and unknown people are generally difficult for these people to handle.

Because of this, many have difficulties taking an exam.

"Many did very well in school, but not when it came to tests. Therefore, they do not have the diploma they were supposed to have," general manager Lisbeth Zornig Andersen explains.

Therefore, exams in connection with test certifications must take place in an environment that is secure for Specialisterne's employees, and they therefore take place in the company's offices in a suburb of Copenhagen.

The untraditional education and exam form was developed in cooperation with the Danish IT Society, which is in charge of certifications, and the development company Delta, which supplies teaching resources.

All about self-understanding

It may be argued that a certificate is not significant if a person already has a job her or she likes. But this is not Specialisterne's way of thinking.

"The certifications are about the self-understanding of the company and its employees. It also relates to customers' security," says Sonne.

Many of Specialisterne's 50 employees solve tasks for external customers although it requires some preparation, both for the customer and for Specialisterne.

But 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," says Sonne.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Torben Daarbak

Computerworld Danmark
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?