World Autism Awareness Day: IT is a role model

by 24britishtvApril 2, 2024, 8:40 p.m. 20
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World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April, gives an opportunity to put the spotlight on the inclusion of neurodiverse people. Vattenfall IT clearly stands out. In March 2024, they received an award from their partner Unicus.

World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April is a UN awareness day with the aim “to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of those with autism so they can lead full and meaningful lives as an integral part of society.”

Autism has especially historically been misunderstood, which the concept of neurodiversity is trying to challenge. The idea is that when we look at how human brains are wired objectively, we can see a great diversity of thinking and communication styles. Autism is one such style among many others, and autism itself is a spectrum.

There is a broad scale when it comes to autism. Some people with autism need assistance to live their lives. Many, however, do not. Some people with autism have superior levels of cognitive ability and intelligence. Autism can also be characterized by specific behaviours in reaction to sensations as well as by having a focus on details and on one task at a time.

These qualities can be an advantage in some areas of work, and so Vattenfall IT has been collaborating with Unicus since 2020 in order to give employment opportunities to people with autism, and with great results.

In March 2024, → Vattenfall received Unicus’ “Client of the Year 2023” award. The explanation reads: “Vattenfall IT has significantly influenced both individuals and society by emerging as Unicus Sweden’s largest client in 2023. Through the strategic engagement of Unicus consultants, Vattenfall IT has actively contributed to reducing the unemployment rate, as well as enhancing the quality of life for neurodiverse people.”

Jens Zerbst, Head of IT at Vattenfall, says, “We are very happy about this partnership with Unicus. It has proven to be a great way of recruiting talent that we otherwise might have missed. We have shown that with small adaptations to our way of working, the consultants from Unicus can be of great value to our organization. As I have said before, it’s a win-win situation. Vattenfall IT was Unicus’ biggest customer in 2023, thereby significantly influencing individuals and society, by showing an openness and willingness to work with people on the autism spectrum.”

What this shows is that people with autism contribute greatly to society when society removes the barriers in their way and creates an inclusive culture with inclusive practices. Neurodiversity is part of life. Governments, businesses and organizations around the world have been changing systems, so everyone, including people with autism, can live a good life and fully participate in work, having fulfilling careers and achieving their ambitions and potential.

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