cut-e, the international assessment specialist, has hired a groundbreaking IT consultancy called Auticon – which exclusively employs autistic adults as its IT consultants – to speed up its product testing and help with data intelligence programming.
Founded in Berlin in 2011, to provide job opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum, Auticon has subsequently expanded throughout Germany and in 2016 it opened offices in London and Paris.
At cut-e, Auticon’s consultants are comprehensively testing new and updated assessment products on all hardware devices and browser combinations. They are also undertaking a data intelligence project to speed up cut-e’s ability to complete the data protection and data security questionnaires that clients require, to ensure compliance with their technical and organisational security measures.
“Auticon is a company with a distinctive business model,” said Richard Justenhoven, Product Development Director at cut-e. “Their autistic consultants are highly capable people with very strong logical and analytical skills, impressive technical capabilities and an exceptional eye for detail. They’re able to sustain their concentration, sift patiently through reams of computer programming code and they can intuitively spot errors. Our collaboration with them has been extremely positive and productive and it has helped us to improve our processes and implement product improvements quicker.”
Auticon’s consultants are supported by job coaches, who act as the primary liaison contacts for clients. When projects are scoped out, Auticon selects the appropriate consultant by matching their technical skills and expertise to the needs of each client’s project. The consultants then work in an autism-friendly environment.
“Auticon’s consultants are very special individuals,” said Richard Justenhoven. “However, we’re working with them not just for altruistic or benevolent reasons but also because they provide a bottom-line business benefit.”
Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects how a person communicates with and relates to others, and how they experience the world around them. The National Autistic Society, a leading UK charity, claims that only 16 percent of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time employment.
Heike Gramkow, Regional Manager Hamburg/Bremen at Auticon, said: “Unemployment among autistic adults is a major issue across Europe. We’re expanding our business in order to address this challenge, so that we can offer sustainable, long term employment to more autistic individuals. cut-e is a great organisation to work with. They’ve provided our consultants with promotional goodies and marketing gifts to make it easier for them to relate to the company. This was an excellent idea that worked very well. The photograph shows how moving one of the objects turns order into chaos in the mind of an autistic person.”
Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.