The Dandelion Model
The value of what you see depends on who you are.
Source: Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Global Perspective
by Alisha S. Richmond
Here in Canada it can feel a bit jarring to say the word ‘autism’ and ‘weed’ in the same sentence. It’s important to dig a bit deeper to truly understand why the Dandelion represents our core values and business model.
Context is key. Many view the dandelion as a weed; something to be rooted out of our lawns and flower beds. What a lot of people don’t know is that, when cultivated, the dandelion is one of the most valuable and useful plants in nature – known for its nutritional, healing and medicinal properties.
A dandelion is a weed in an environment where it is not welcomed. If the dandelion is in an environment where it is welcomed, valued, and nurtured, it is an herb. People with autism often struggle to feel welcome in the labor market. Specialisterne strives to create an environment where each individual can thrive and provides support both for the individual and the employer to maintain this comfort zone.
On our logo, the blue square around the dandelion represents the open sky of opportunities, with a rounded, softened corner to illustrate that even though we are in a tough market, we take into consideration individual needs when creating our work environment.
The “I” letters in Specialisterne have the yellow colour of the mature dandelion flower, to underscore the link between the logo and the name of the Specialisterne Foundation.
The tagline, “Employ Different Thinking”, helps all stakeholders, no matter their perspective, to stay focused on our goals and what we need to do to achieve them.