Software companies are opening doors to workers diagnosed with autism. Their unique skills allow them to shine in the workplace. They often excel at writing manuals to give clients precise instructions on how to install software. Workers with autism may excel at going step by step, with out missing important details.
“The business procurement process, such as getting invoices or managing the supply chain , is another area in which an individual with autism might shine.” WSJ March 28, 2014.
It is critical that business figures out how to maximize the skills of people who think in a different way. First, one in 68 children are now diagnosed as falling somewhere on the autism spectrum. If supported correctly, they could be a wellspring of innovation, filling an important gap in the labor pool.
Business is worried about the labor pool. By the year 2020, most baby boomers will have retired. There is a shortage of workers looming, and employers need to figure out how to hire workers who see the world in a different way.
The German software giant SAP has been actively recruiting people with autism for jobs because of their unique set of skills. The program has been a success in Germany, India and Ireland. It is launching a similar program in North America. This doesn’t come a minute too soon, because 85 per cent of adults diagnosed with autism are jobless. Supportive employment programs can be the key to help not only people with autism, but all people with disabilities find and keep jobs.