HP Australia and Dept of Human Services join the Dandelion Program

Dandelion Program aims to enable one million jobs for people with autism

HP Australia and the Department of Human Services have joined the Dandelion Program, which aims to help companies hire people with autism spectrum disorder.

Companies that have the ability to recognise the benefit of employing potential staff with autism spectrum disorder, will be well placed in knowledge-based economies, according to Specialisterne’s Thorkil Sonne.

Before founding Specialisterne in 2003, Sonne worked in telecommunications and IT. His own son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, and he launched the Specialist People Foundation. Under the Dandelion Program, it aims to enable one million jobs for people with autism and similar challenges.

“People with autism don’t fit into the standards that are in job descriptions today with requirements such as teamwork, empathy and time management,” Sonne said. “It’s really hard for people with autism to make the first five minutes in an interview, but companies need to focus on their talent and how to get the most of that talent.”

SAP globally, Microsoft in US and HP in Australia, have become partners of the Specialist People Foundation.

“Hewlett Packard and their client, the Department of Human Services, see this as an opportunity to employ people in the short term, but also the strategic benefit of turning people from receiving care to becoming independent tax payers, contributing to the market economy and realising their potential in the workforce,” he said.

Sonne will be speaking at the Asia Pacific Autism Conference in Brisbane that will be held from 9 - 11 September.