Seeing Autism As Attribute Rather Than Disability

Just yesterday, autism made headlines. While many federal contractors are required to increase their disabled workforce population, some technological companies are joining in the disabled recruitment process out of desire. One such supporter of the disabled population is SAP AG, a German-based software company, who hired over ten autistic workers in two different hubs in the United States. According to the company’s founder, Holger Graf, autistic people should be key components to any tech company.

Autism: A Desirable Attribute?

Autism, often seen as a hindrance, is also believed to be an attribute in highly involved and tedious fields such as computers and technology. Much credit is due to an autistic person’s propensity for repetition. Many companies, including SAP AG, have found these tendencies to reduce error and result in work that is more thorough. Some credit should also be given to these programs such as Specialisterne, which provides training and education to autistic employees. With the track record and continued success of SAP’s autistic employees, we see that the proper balance of education and natural ability can be cultivated into genius in everyone.

Divorcing Autism from Stigma

The shift to introduce more individuals with disabilities (IWDs) into the workforce is bringing about marked change including: dissolving the stigma and misconception that often accompanies IWDs, an understanding of the benefits of education, and the sense of equality that agencies such as the OFCCP and EEOC are striving for. Now, we’re seeing more and more big name companies dedicating special programs to the hiring of IWDs, especially autism. For now, SAP is a leader in hiring autistic workers in the technology industry, but how long until other industries and companies start noticing the value that IWDs can bring to the table. Watch out college graduates, minorities are finally up to bat.