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.


Do you have an interest in using and developing your skills in software development? Do you enjoy problem-solving and critical thinking? Does being part of a project focused on designing innovative solutions for social enterprises sound interesting to you? If so, this might be the role for you.

Department & Team overview

IBM Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) is a system of engagement for academic collaboration with IBM. Working with students, educators and researchers, IBM CAS helps maintain and innovate curricula, supports experiential learning initiatives and fosters innovation within IBM’s offerings.

In this role, you would be part of a small team focused on using machine learning and user-centered design to develop and improve business systems. You would work with supportive managers focused on bringing the best out of each team member and collaborate with members of SLiDE, a group that uses technology to support social innovation initiatives.

Here is what you will do:

  • Work on specific projects to help develop technology-based solutions for data management and reporting
  • Work in an Agile, collaborative environment alongside members of IBM CAS and SLiDE to define the problem and develop potential solutions
  • Deepen your understanding of machine learning and AI architecture to explore ways of using it to develop models for data analysis and automation
  • Assist with the design, coding, and testing of new features in support of more senior team members
  • Work with large amounts of data from both structured and unstructured data sources to construct data pipelines, apply transformation and cleansing rules and assess data quality
  • Participate in hands-on workshops to further develop your technical skills and understanding of machine learning and its capabilities

In performing this role, you will:

  • Be working towards a degree or diploma in Computer Science or Engineering, Data Science, Analytics, Information Technology or a similar discipline
  • Use your Python, Java and/or R programming skills to perform analysis and develop applications
  • Enjoy taking an experimental approach to solving problems and challenges while leveraging your critical thinking skills
  • Apply your basic to intermediate knowledge in software development and UI to support the project from idea to implementation
  • Have an interest in AI and machine learning in the context of computer science

Please note: This is a full-time 4, 8, or 12-month co-op/internship program ONLY available to students who identify with autism or another similar neurodiversity. The planned start date is May 4, 2020.

Role Employer Location Deadline  
Software Engineer, AI & Cognitive Computing IBM Ottawa, ON January 28, 2020 Closed

The Recruitment Process


The first step in the recruitment process is to register at Specialisterne’s student registration page. This will involve completing an online registration questionnaire. Instructions for registering are included below.

Employment Discovery Workshop

The next step is to participate in 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 and your motivations, interests, and skills. These half-day sessions provide a fun, interactive and creative experience out of which each participant will receive a profile that can help them prepare for future employment opportunities.


Students who have participated in an Employment Discovery Workshop are welcome to apply to the roles of interest. To apply, students will need to complete a job application questionnaire and submit a resume to Specialisterne.


Employment offers are made to the candidates with the best fit. Once selected as the successful candidate for the role, Specialisterne provides support during the training for and transition into the role. This helps to ensure that each employee feels well prepared and comfortable to perform in their new position.

Those not selected can have their profiles added to our database for consideration for other more suitable job opportunities in the future.

To Apply

Please read the role descriptions carefully.

For a detailed description of all summer co-op placements in 2020, please download this PDF.

All applications must go through Specialisterne Canada. Our corporate partners do not handle applications directly.

If you have already participated in a Specialisterne Employment Discovery Workshop but wish to be considered for these roles, please send an email to [email protected].

Please direct any questions via email to [email protected]. If you prefer to speak on the phone, send us an email and we will schedule a call.

We look forward to hearing from you!