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SAP Hiring Tech Workers with Autism

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Software company SAP has launched a program aimed at hiring tech workers with autism. Scott Budman reports. (Published Thursday, Mar 27, 2014)

    More people with autism are getting into the tech industry.

    Now, software company SAP has launched a program aimed at hiring tech workers with autism.

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    The program, which the tech giant calls "Autism at Work," specifically trains people with autism for jobs with the company.

    "One of the reasons we're looking at people on the spectrum is they bring abilities we may not have," SAP's Jose Velasco said. "In order for us to accommodate some of the challenges we have to provide a different platform."

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    The first group of employees in the program are currently preparing for their first day at SAP. The company is also turning to outside experts for advice.

    "The challenge for a lot of people is social interaction," said Dr. Rosalind Picard, MIT's director of autism technology. "They're just as smart as other people in the workforce, but they may not enjoy the eye contact, face-to-face interaction."

    Gregory Yates, who has autism, said he would like to see more people on the spectrum in tech jobs. Yates also co-founded the Autism, Asperger Syndrome Coalition for Education, Networking and Development group.

    "Obviously, we're in favor of employing people on the spectrum," "That said, we're keeping a close eye. Looks like it's getting a great start."

    SAP officials said, while they started the Autism at Work program in the Bay Area, they plan to take the plan to offices around the country.