Microsoft has launched a pilot program to hire people with autism for full-time positions.
Microsoft’s partner in the program, Specialisterne, already has relationships with tech companies such as SAP, where people with autism are hired as software testers, QA specialists, and programmers. It’s safe to assume that those selected for Microsoft’s program will take on similar jobs. Candidates interested in the program can email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org; all jobs will reportedly be based in Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft has its headquarters.
“Microsoft is stronger when we expand opportunity and we have a diverse workforce that represents our customers,” Mary Ellen Smith, a corporate vice president for worldwide operations at Microsoft, wrote in a blog posting announcing the program. “People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.”
Through their respective employee insurance plans, Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Oracle, and other tech companies already cover Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a well-regarded treatment for children with autism. (Hat tip to Re/Code for the original link.)
Nor are programs for hiring workers with autism limited to the biggest tech firms. In 2013, for example, nonprofit startup Semperical launched a pilot program to train adults with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in software testing.
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