Winner 2013/2014

Thornkil Sonne, winner of the 2013/14 Essl Social Prize, changes the way society perceives autism by transforming it from a handicap into a competitive advantage. His Specialist People Foundation employs autistic people, as they have highly specialised skills, including excellent concentration, consistency, logic and accuracy making them particularly qualified for work in information and communication technology. In fact, people with autism have 10 times lower fault rate in software testing and other tasks.

An important part of Specialist People is that it creates a link between education, training, job placement and support in the job.

Having begun in Denmark, he is now empowering people with ASD globally. In Austria, it is being implemented by the Association Specialisterne. Financial support from the Essl Social Prize will help grow this organisation in Austria, beginning in Vienna and then throughout the country. The ultimate goal is for the organisation to become self sufficient, through job placements and therefore independent of the need for further grants. Specialisterne Austria is run by Stephan Dorfmeister, Elisabeth Kron and Andreas Keplinger.
For more information visit their homepage click here.