The Specialist People Foundation works to enable one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges through social entrepreneurship, corporate sector engagement and a global change in mind-set. We work with stakeholders around the world to bring about our vision of a world where people are given equal opportunities in the labor market.

The foundation owns the Specialisterne concept and trademark. Specialisterne, which translates from Danish as “the specialists”, is an innovative social enterprise providing assessment, training, education and IT consultancy services, where most of the employees are people with autism.

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Specialisterne Launches in Northern Ireland


From left to right: Dame Stephanie Shirley, Shirley Foundation and Autism Speaks, Peter Brabazon, General Manager, Specialisterne Ireland, Sharon Didrichsen, Manager, Specialisterne Northern Ireland, Minister Stephen Farry, Department of Employment and Learning.

Specialisterne has set up operations in Belfast, Northern Ireland with the aim of helping 50 people with autism there secure professional jobs in the IT sector within the next five years.

“’We are very excited about the opportunities for Specialisterne to showcase how people with autism can excel in the work place given the right understanding and accommodation,” said Specialisterne Founder and Chairman of the Board Thorkil Sonne. “Northern Ireland has welcomed our mission with strong support from key stakeholders and we are looking forward to working with a number of different partners to begin making a difference in the community.”

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Employment and Learning Stephen Farry supported the launch stating: “As Minister for Employment and Learning, I am committed to helping employers to create working environments that are inclusive and dynamic, reflecting the increasingly diverse society that exists in Northern Ireland today. This includes ensuring that people with disabilities and health conditions, such as those with autism, are provided with the opportunities to succeed in their chosen career. Continue reading

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