Featured member - Specialisterne NI, an Autism at Work Consultancy

15 Dec 2016 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 4 Jul 2019

Specialisterne NI logo

Specialisterne NI is a not for private profit community interest company that opened in 2014 as the local expression of the Specialisterne Foundation. 

The Specialisterne Foundation started in 2004 in Denmark and is across 13 countries today. It has the aim of creating 1 million jobs for people on the Autistic Spectrum. Specialisterne is a thought leader in relation to Autism and Employment and is often cited in research regarding Autism, e.g. a Harvard Business Review ‘Sense and Details’. International companies such as HP, SAP and Microsoft have partnered with Specialisterne to recruit people on the Autistic Spectrum, increasing the diversity of their workforce.

In N Ireland Specialisterne helps people on the Autistic Spectrum find and succeed in graduate level jobs, and has a further aim of identifying and addressing root causes in society that may lead to disadvantage for people on the Autistic Spectrum. Our team have all studied Autism to Masters level and we use Autism theory to shape solutions that work for Autistic people. By addressing root causes we hope to develop solutions that will make it easier for Autistic people to be themselves in our workplaces and communities, which will mean Autistic people will require less support.

As an Autism consultancy we help companies recruit and manage people on the Autistic Spectrum and to date have helped over 50 people on the Autistic Spectrum secure graduate jobs. We have also delivered projects funded by DCAL and NI Executive which bring together groups of adults on the Autistic Spectrum to explore what it is like to be Autistic in N Ireland, and what strategies can make it easier to communicate and help people feel more part of their local communities.

Our team also support social enterprises, charities and organisations to extend the services they provide to include people on the Autistic Spectrum. By providing specialist training, assessment and coaching, our aim is to make community services work for people on the Autistic Spectrum, and to enable voluntary and community organisations to feel more confident to work with clients who are on the Autistic Spectrum, and to do so with increased understanding. 

How we help the Voluntary and Community Sector

We are able to provide the following services to voluntary and community organisations and their clients:

‘Working with Clients who have a Social Communication Difference’ Workshops

An Autism consultancy, Specialisterne provides Autism training workshops for other social enterprises and charities, helping them better understand and communicate with clients who are on the Autistic Spectrum.

Working with illustrator/actor Patrick Sanders, Specialisterne workshops role play moments of social communication difference and explore what it is like to be on the Autistic Spectrum. Level 1 and 2 workshops can be delivered in-house and tailored to your organisation.

Training is delivered by Autism Specialists who have daily practical experience in supporting people on the Autistic Spectrum. Training is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Accredited, and training content has been approved by groups of adults on the Autistic Spectrum.

Social Communication Profiling, Workshops and Coaching for Clients who are on the Autistic Spectrum

  • Specialisterne carry out Social Communication Profiling and Assessment using a bespoke Lego Workshop where participants build Lego Robots in small teams. Spaces can be booked on Lego Workshops or delivered in-house
  • Social Communication Workshops and Coaching help people on the Autistic Spectrum develop communication strategies as well as increased self-confidence and wellbeing.  Workshops and coaching can be delivered at Specialisterne’s offices at Skainos, Newtownards Road, or in-house.

Bespoke Consultancy regarding Recruitment and Performance, or Project Delivery

Specialisterne provides support and advice to private and public sector clients regarding specific situations or projects that may involve clients who are on the Autistic Spectrum. We welcome enquiries and are happy to advise or work with voluntary and community organisations to help make community projects more accessible to people on the Autistic Spectrum.

For further information contact:
Sharon Didrichsen, Manager
[email protected]
Mobile: 07565 936191

'As an expanding social enterprise the team at NICVA help us keep our ears to the ground of sector developments and to have a say in important new initiatives. We also use grant tracker and it is great to have all the funding information in one place'
Sharon Didrichsen, Manager, Specialisterne Northern Ireland

shauna.oneill@nicva.org's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Information Officer

[email protected]

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