Thursday, April 21, 2016

Microsoft to create autism based jobs

Microsoft’s HQ where new jobs for people with autism will be based
Image caption
The new jobs will be based at Microsoft’s HQ in Redmond, USA
Microsoft says it wants to hire more people with autism in full-time roles.
The tech giant is to start by offering 10 places on a pilot scheme based at its Redmond headquarters.
Senior executive Mary Ellen Smith said: “People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft.”
The UK’s National Autistic Society welcomed the move but said that other firms should do more to tap into the skills offered by many people with autism.
Amazing Ability
Announcing the new scheme in a blog, Ms Smith said: “Each individual is different, some have an amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.”
Microsoft's HQ where new jobs for people with autism will be based

Specialist recruitment firm, Specialisterne, will help run a new hiring scheme.
The firm, which operates in Denmark and the UK, works with several IT companies, and in other sectors, to promote the skills of people with autism for specific vacancies.
Sarah Lambert, from the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s encouraging to see a global company like Microsoft recognise the untapped potential of adults with autism.
“Many may have strengths such as accuracy, a good eye for detail and reliability, which can benefit all sorts of businesses, not just the technology industry.
“However, at the moment, just 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time employment.
“Simple adjustments, like making job interviews more accessible and providing support to help those in work understand the ‘unwritten rules’ of the workplace can unlock the potential of a whole section of society.”

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Autism show wins top ratings

The A Word, a six-episode family drama revolving around a boy’s autism, is now airing on BBC and is reeling in top reviews. The show is based on the Israeli series Yellow Peppers, winner of five Israeli Academy Awards including Best Drama, Best Screenplay and Best Director.
The A Word focuses on a family’s painful but humorous journey of denial and introspection after their five-year-old son is diagnosed with autism.
BBC co-produced the show with Keshet International. SundanceTV recently acquired the US rights to the drama.
“Like all the best dramas, this will make you laugh and it will also make you cry. Unmissable stuff,” reads a review in the Mirror.
“Whether you have an interest in autism is irrelevant – The A Word is a masterclass in ensemble acting and scriptwriting that is as funny as it is heartrending and I simply cannot recommend it enough,” reads anotherreview.
Yellow Peppers first aired in Israel in 2010.

Israel defense force expanding autism program

IDF expanding Autism program

The IDF's “Roim Rachok” (“Watching the Horizon”) program, which integrates soldiers on the autism spectrum into the IDF, has expanded to the Ordnance Corps, reported the IDF Blog Saturday evening.
Roim Rachok volunteer IDF Website
The Ordnance Corps is now welcoming its first eight autism spectrum volunteers, as part of Roim Rachok. After testing and interviewing approximately 70 candidates, eight men were chosen to be a part of the program that began in November 2015.
“These men embody extraordinary visual memory and a great desire to learn and work in the best possible way,” the military blog quoted Major Yitzchak, Commander of the Optotronics Unit, as saying.
Autism-spectrum IDF volunteer. IDF Website
"It’s amazing to see the progress in these men,” he added. “They come on the day of their interview, shy, hardly understanding the wires and tools in front of them. Today, they are working just like their peers beside them.”
The volunteers learn social skills along with specialty skills. They attend recreational yoga classes, but also learn how to carry out routine activities like riding a bus. Four of them will be joining an optics unit and four will be in electronics.
Since tasks like fixing wires and molding cord coating are part of the work in almost any electrical field, the IDF hopes to make the volunteers as comfortable as possible in a normal workplace, both in and out of the army.
Autism-spectrum IDF volunteer. IDF Website
On June 30th, the future soldiers will wear their IDF uniforms for the first time. “I just want to be like everyone else,” Omer K, one of the future recruits in the group, told the blog. “I am very excited to put on the uniform.”
Maj. Yitzchak added, “The project creates a beneficial environment for both the volunteers and the IDF. The proteges receive occupations for life and we receive experienced, efficient, and motivated workers.”