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Specialisterne Canada

Specialisterne Canada Inc., a charitable not-for-profit Canadian organization, focused on building a bridge between neurodivergent job seekers and employers. We support employers to tap into the talents of a neurodiverse workforce and build inclusive organizations through education, training, and advisory.

Specialisterne Foundation

Specialisterne Foundation is a non-for-profit organization that works to enable one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges.

Specialisterne Foundation Founder Thorkil Sonne explains how embracing neurodiversity in the workplace benefits both businesses and individuals on the spectrum.

Thorkil Sonne, Founder of the Specialisterne Foundation, is pioneering a paradigm shift, challenging businesses to embrace the untapped potential of a truly diverse workforce. He is also a Fellow of Ashoka, the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with more than 3,800 leading innovators in more than 95 countries.

A personal journey that ignited a vision

Sonne’s journey to founding the Specialisterne Foundation began with a deeply personal experience. When his youngest son was diagnosed with infantile autism, Sonne’s world shifted. He realized that traditional societal structures, particularly in education and employment, were ill-equipped to accommodate those with neurodivergent minds.

Recognizing the immense value in harnessing the unique talents of individuals on the autism spectrum, he embarked on a mission to prove that people with autism could thrive in the corporate world, if given the right environment.

“I think they should change the lens and say, ‘we do it because it makes sense from a business perspective’.”

“We are not used to people who are not alike. We sort them out and put them on special arrangements, special tracks, or they’re just forgotten and hidden somewhere inactive,” Sonne tells The CEO Magazine.

His vision crystallized into the Specialisterne Foundation in 2004, which seeks to create environments where individuals can be themselves, leverage their strengths and contribute to the professional landscape.

This has not happened without challenges. Sonne identifies the prevailing misconceptions about the capabilities of autistic individuals in the workplace as one of the most significant challenges individuals on the autistic spectrum face.

Read the entire article in CEO Magazine here: https://www.theceomagazine.com/business/management-leadership/thorkil-sonne-neurodiversity-in-the-workplace/