People on the autistic spectrum are increasingly being seen as a business asset. The latest firm to think so is German business software giant SAP, which has announced it is recruiting people with the condition. The aim is for 1% of the firm's 64,000 employee be people who "think differently and spark innovation," says Luisa Delgado, one of the firm's directors.
Technology and autism have long gone hand in hand--one project uses iPads to help teens with varying degrees of learning disabilities make music. There are laptops for children with the condition, and a recent hacking event in Canada featured a simulator for the hypersensitivity experienced by a youngster on the spectrum.
The movement to bring men and women with low-level autistic spectrum disorders into the workplace isn't a new one--Texas firm Alliance Data announced a similar scheme last month. Auticon, a Berlin-based employment agency, fills IT-related posts with suitable candidates, and SAP's pilot scheme in Bangalore, which preceded yesterday's announcement, was implemented by a Danish firm, Specialisterne.