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Concentrate on the essentials: software giant "SAP" wants to hire hundreds of autistic people
As the software company SAP announced on Tuesday, the company plans to hire hundreds of autistic people in the coming years. By 2020, one percent of the current 65,000 SAP positions will be filled with people with an autistic disorder. The company had already had positive experiences in 2011 in a pilot project in Bangalore, India. In the affected departments, both productivity and customer satisfaction have increased.
"SAP" appreciates the special skills of autistic people SAP sees its future employees primarily in the areas of programming, software testing and quality assurance. In the IT area, autistic people could benefit from their special skills such as meticulousness, attention to detail, excellent memory and their special way of thinking logically, Friedrich Nolte from the Federal Association for the Promotion of People with Autism told the news agency "dpa". What would often appear pathological to those affected in everyday use is ideal for testing software or technical devices. Unfortunately, only a few large corporations have dealt with the topic so far, says Nolte.
SAP plans to fill one percent of its positions with autistic people by 2020. That roughly corresponds to the proportion of the population suffering from autism. Jobs in Ireland are currently being given to people with an autistic disorder, the company said. Germany and the USA are also expected to follow by the end of the year. SAP works with the Danish initiative "Specialisterne", which aims to bring one million non-intellectually impaired autistic people into work.
Other companies such as the IT company “Auticon” in Berlin also employ autistic people. By the end of 2013, 20 of the 28 positions are to be filled with autistic people, because the company wants "to use and promote the special skills of Asperger autistic people in the area of quality management".
Autistic people have a hard time in the job market As a rule, people with autistic disorder have a hard time in the job market. This also applies to the mild form of autism, Asperger's syndrome. As Matthias Dalfert, professor of applied social sciences at Regensburg University of Applied Sciences, told dpa, only around five percent of autistic people work on the job market, while Asperger's Syndrome is 20 percent. "With appropriate funding, the number could be three times as high."
Maria Kaminski, CEO of the Autism Association, also confirmed to the online edition of the "Frankfurter Rundschau" that it is still very difficult for autistic people in their working life. "We are happy about every job for people with autism." For the SAP employees it is important to know what autism is. An autistic person usually needs an assistant to look after him, says Kaminski. People with an autistic disorder often cannot interact and communicate socially like others, making teamwork difficult. However, an assistant could help the autistic person to better understand his working environment. SAP has already announced that it will train employees specifically to take care of the needs of autistic people. (ag)
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