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.