Asperger Informatik AG taps into huge potential

Office room (Rainer Sturm/pixelio.de)
IT is still growing and growing (Rainer Sturm/pixelio.de)

Autistic people often have command over exceptional analytical thinking, logic, attention to detail, high endurance and are honest. The Zurich-based IT company Asperger Informatik AG makes use of these ideal qualities and offers people with Asperger's opportunies in the labor market.

Asperger Informatik AG offers various IT services. As the name suggests, this is not an ordinary company, because it employs primarily people with Asperger's syndrome. From this group they see a huge potential: The company creates jobs that meet the needs of autistic people's, so they can use their talents and skills productively and ultimately also achieve economic independence. The IT company demonstrates the potential that autistic people have, and shows that it can also be profitable for the economy, to utilise and promote this potential.

Unique conditions in the information age

Asperger-autistic people possess extraordinary talents. In the information age, the special abilities of Asperger's are often ideal for computer science and IT related professions. Not only are people with Asperger's often especially gifted, they usually also have extraordinary analytical skill, readiness of mind, very attentive to fine details, extreme concentration and ability to focus as well as tenacity and stamina.

The intellectual skills that enable people with Asperger’s to comprehend and understand extremely complex issues and difficult subject incredibly fast, combined with their high self-motivation and the tenacity to deal for weeks, months or even years, with a single topic allows Asperger's to achieve very high levels of expertise and specialisation. Their weaknesses in social interaction play on the other hand little or no role when testing software or during web design.

man with headset working on a notebook (Boscolo/pixelio.de)
IT services provides an ideal field of operation for people with Asperger’s syndrome (Boscolo/pixelio.de)

The person is placed in the centre

Asperger Informatik AG pursues a particular philosophy. The company considers the variety and diversity that characterizes our world as a great potential. To utilise it however, it is necessary that private companies and public institutions can also deal with the diversity. The company’s staffing policy is commensurate with the goal of valuing the diversity of employment potential and using it optimally. In the process the person is placed in the center. Asperger IT Solution wants to show that because of his special abilities, the employment of people with autism can be an advantage for every company if the employer is able to create the appropriate working environment.

The economy, the company and the person benefit

Everybody wins: the economy, with its growing need for specialists, the company which is financially rewarded and the individual, who through work will be better integrated in society, can prove his/her performance and achieve economic independence.

The aim of Asperger Informatik AG, is not only to employ gifted Asperger’s, but rather to accompany, promote and lead them, as specialists, to niche jobs in the open labor market. In the IT sector above all, there is a large and growing demand for specialists, who can fulfill positions in areas where strong where analytical skills, a structured approach, fine detail and strong powers of concentration are required.

Appreciating the otherness

The cost savings for the social security are enormous, when a person with autism can be integrated into the work force. Surveys estimate that the lifetime assistance for people with autism costs society about 2 million euro*. But the financial saving is only one aspect. In addition, the integration of autistic people in society offers people an opportunity to open themselves to the otherness of autistic people and to appreciate their individual characteristics and abilities.

closeup keyboard (Rainer Sturm/pixelio.de)
Clear structures simplify the everyday work of people with Asperger’s syndrome (Rainer Sturm/pixelio.de)

Founder the company founder is herself affected by Asperger’s Syndrome

Susan Conza is founder and owner of the company. The graduate of Business and Computer Science is herself affected by Asperger Syndrome. Between 1997 and 2007 she built up the successful Swiss Provider "Cyberlink Internet Services AG" and led the company as CEO. On one hand, Conza understands the difficulties people with autism have but on the other hand, she also knows about their abilities. With the concept of creating an ideal workplace for herself, the idea sprang to do the same for other autistic people.

Wide range of services

Today, the company offers various services in the field of IT solutions. In addition to the software testing, they offer web design, web-usability, web-accessibility, and also barrier-free internet. This creates the conditions that enable as many people as possible unlimited access to the internet, independent of any existing disability. Asperger Informatik AG analyses websites, develops concrete suggestions for improvement and also implements them on request. A more detailed list of services provided by Asperger Informatik AG is available on: www.asperger-informatik.ch.

*This figure is taken from a Swiss survey which estimated the savings at c. 3 million Swiss Francs, which is the equivalent of 2 million euros.

Text: pg – 06/2010

Translation: PMC

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