SPECIALISTERNE NETWORK

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.

PRESS RELEASE: COPENHAGEN, April 9, 2024 – Today, Specialisterne celebrates its 20th anniversary. Born in 2004 in Denmark, Specialisterne is considered a pioneer and leader of a worldwide social movement to include autistic and neurodivergent people in the labor market.

The celebration takes place in the National Museum of Denmark, with the attendance of Her Majesty, the Queen Mary of Denmark, and Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, Minister for Employment, as well as other authorities, longstanding employer partners of Specialisterne, and Specialisterne’s representatives, including Carsten Lassen, CEO of Specialisterne Denmark, and CEOs from Specialisterne offices around the world.

Specialisterne’s origins

Thorkil Sonne started Specialisterne as a social company in 2004, when he learned how much autistic people struggle to make use of their talents in meaningful jobs.

Specialisterne put the focus on harnessing the talents of autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people, providing them the opportunity to sustain meaningful employment. At the same time, Specialisterne devoted much effort to helping the companies become more inclusive and demonstrating the social and business value of building neurodiverse teams.

Praised as an example of social entrepreneurship, in 2008 Specialisterne expanded internationally, igniting a global social movement. For two decades, Specialisterne has inspired hundreds of companies and social entrepreneurs to promote a neuro-inclusive labor market.

“I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together, and I am grateful for the demanding work of leaders and staff at Specialisterne and for the engagement of clients and stakeholders around the world. I encourage all stakeholders to make use of the extensive operational know-how in Specialisterne to benefit from a neurodiverse world which is fair and square for everyone”, says Thorkil Sonne.

Specialisterne today

Specialisterne is now a global organization with over 600 employees and permanent offices in 13 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the UK, and the USA). It has operated in 26 countries around the world, supporting more than 10,000 autistic and neurodivergent people to obtain meaningful jobs and more than 500 companies to become more inclusive, equitable, and accessible workplaces. Although Specialisterne started with a strong focus in IT, today it works with employers across a range of industries and sectors, from museums to logistics and manufacturing.

Specialisterne’s future

In 2023, Thorkil Sonne passed the torch of Specialisterne to Ramon Bernat (Chair) and Francesc Sistach (Global CEO), with a strong focus on scaling social impact and expanding our global reach.

“We are now setting up offices in new countries, making our social impact much broader and more global, and evolving our portfolio of services, as both the neurodivergent community and the perception of the business about autism and neurodiversity has changed in a positive way during these 20 years”, explains global CEO, Francesc Sistach.

Specialisterne provides a range of services to both neurodivergent job seekers and employees and employers, including but not limited to specialized academies/training programs for neurodivergent job seekers to enhance industry-related skills, education, and awareness training for managers on how to become more inclusive, support to employers to access a neurodiverse talent pipeline or adapt company policies to better meet the needs of a neurodiverse workforce.

Ramon Bernat, who is neurodivergent himself, concludes that: “Globally, we still have plenty of work ahead to achieve a truly inclusive society, but we are a strong organization that has led the way for many years and that is fully committed to contributing to an inclusive workplace, and to continue being a pioneer and one leading player in shaping a brilliant future for neurodivergent people”.

***

For more information

Carsten Lassen
CEO, Specialisterne ApS (Denmark)
+45 41100140
[email protected]

Francesc Sistach
CEO, Specialisterne Global
+34 673750051
[email protected]