International Specialisterne Community

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.

Are you a student or recent graduate thinking about employment or what a future career may look like? Do you identify as someone on the autism spectrum or with similar neurodiversity*?

In partnership with select schools and employers, Specialisterne is offering neurodivergent students an avenue to employment.  Specialisterne’s program offers you as a student an opportunity to learn about your skills, talents and attributes an employer might be interested in getting to know. You may also gain access to unique employment opportunities, including co-op placements, paid internships summer jobs only offered through this program.

Click on the tabs above to learn about the process and to register.

Got a question? Email us at [email protected] at any time.

*Neurodiversity is the concept that there is great diversity in how people’s brains are wired and work, and that neurological differences should be valued in the same way we value any other human variation. For the purposes of this program, neurodiversity can be defined to include but not be limited to conditions such as Autism, ADHD/ADD, PDD-NOS, OCD, Clinical Anxiety, and similar ways of being.

1. Registration 

The first step is to complete our online registration questionnaire. This introduces you to Specialisterne and helps us to understand your interests and the types of positions you are searching for.

2. Employment Discovery Workshops

The next step in our process is the Employment Discovery Workshop. This is a hands-on, task-based experience where you will work on specific projects in a relaxed setting. It is an opportunity to learn about our approach to hiring, and for us to get to know you – what motivates you, your interests and your skills. In the workshop, we will also talk about employment related topics like employer obligations under the AODA and the issues and benefits surrounding disclosure.

3. Business Profile

After the workshop, you will receive a Business Profile highlighting your personal strengths, talents and other things about you that employers would be interested in knowing. This information can be useful in future job searches. 

4. Exclusive Employment Opportunities

As employment opportunities become available, Specialisterne match program participants to roles that suit their interests and profile. Once selected as the successful candidate for the role, Specialisterne provides support and coaching during the transition into the role. This helps to ensure that each employee feels well prepared and comfortable to perform in their new position.

*As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adapted our processes to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our candidates, staff and employer partners. As part of this, we are currently offering a completely virtual process for recruitment, onboarding, and workplace support. More information will be shared with program participants throughout the application process. 

We’re glad you’re interested in our program and look forward to getting to know you.

Please click on the button below to get to the registration questionnaire. At the end of the questionnaire, you will be asked to upload your resume directly or send us a copy as soon as you can.

Please note that the information you provide will only be shared with Specialisterne. We will not share any information with the post-secondary institution you are enrolled in or with employers without your consent.

Program Registration

Why should I consider participating in a Specialisterne Employment Workshop?  

This is an opportunity for you to develop an understanding of what your employable strengths and get to know Specialisterne and its approach to hiring. By participating, you also become eligible to apply for employment opportunities available through this program. 

Can a student from any school participate?  

Currently, this is an opportunity offered by Specialisterne in partnership with a select number of schools in Ontario. Our goal is to expand this program to include more schools in Ontario and beyond. If you are a student at a school that is not listed, we still recommend you register with us. 

Who is eligible to participate, what is the entry criterion?

To be eligible, you need to be a currently enrolled student at a post-secondary institution in Canada. You also need to identify as being on the autism spectrum or with other neurodivergence, which includes conditions such as ADHD, ADD, PDD-NOS, OCD, clinical anxiety, and other similar ways of being.

Does Specialisterne guarantee an employment placement for participating students?

Specialisterne provides a pathway to employment, but we can’t guarantee a placement through this program.

What types of roles will be available through this program?

This program offers co-op placements, paid summer internships, and other short term opportunities. Specialisterne works with many different employers and expects to have roles in sectors such as finance, IT, marketing, administration and more. 

Are the employment opportunities paid?

Yes, all jobs offered by Specialisterne and its employer partners are paid positions. 

I’m currently enrolled in post-secondary studies. Will participating in the Employment Bridging Program help me secure full-time employment after I graduate?

Participating in the Employment Bridging Program does not guarantee employment opportunities. However, it can create a path to secure full-time employment after graduation, as you will learn about your own strengths and gain access to exclusive jobs offered by Specialisterne. 

I do not see any opportunities posted on the Specialisterne website that are relevant to my studies or interests. Can I still register to be part of the program? Y

es. As Specialisterne continues to grow and diversify, the list of industries operated in will expand. Specialisterne will continue to post and notify you of these opportunities as they arise.  By registering for the program, you provide important information about yourself, helping Specialisterne to match you with upcoming roles that suit your profile. 

If I register, am I guaranteed a spot in the Employment Discovery Workshop? 

Workshop spots are limited. As such, Specialisterne will be accepting participants into the workshop on a first-come-first-serve basis. We recommend registering as soon as possible.

Will anyone support me in an interview with the employer?

For jobs that you apply for through this program, there will be no interview required. Interviews are not a part of Specialisterne’s recruitment process. In our opinion, interviews are rarely a good indicator of future job performance or a person’s capabilities. 

Will Specialisterne help me look for jobs, improve my resume, or prepare for an upcoming interview?

Specialisterne provides job seekers with an opportunity to access employment by entering an alternative recruitment process, however, individual job search support is not provided.

Do I need to disclose information about my diagnosis or the neurodivergence I identify with to the employer?

It is up to you to decide if, when, how and to whom you disclose information about your diagnosis. Specialisterne staff will be available to discuss your decision with you to ensure you feel comfortable in the process. 

Still have more questions? Email [email protected] at any time.