Kinaxis® (TSX:KXS) today announced the launch of its Autism at Work program, an initiative designed to leverage the unique talents of individuals on the autism spectrum and provide meaningful, sustained employment to this under-utilized talent pool. Kinaxis has established a goal to have 1% of its workforce comprised of people under the autism spectrum.
To launch this program, Kinaxis has partnered with Specialisterne Canada, an international organization that helps employers understand, value, and integrate the unique perspective and capabilities of people with autism. Kinaxis joins software giants SAP, HP and Microsoft who have partnered with Specialisterne globally to access untapped talent using the not-for-profit’s proven model for training and hiring individuals on the autism spectrum.
“Forward-thinking employers are fast becoming aware not only of the unique talents of people on the autism spectrum, but also of the barriers they face accessing employment when faced with common hiring practices,” said Alan Kriss, CEO of Specialisterne Canada. “We are very excited to work with a highly respected and innovative employer like Kinaxis to fill technology related jobs in the Ottawa region.”
“We are thrilled to be the first company in the Ottawa region to roll out this ground-breaking program,” said Megan Paterson, vice president of human resources at Kinaxis. “We strongly believe that diversity in the work place helps create a better, more inclusive environment. By incorporating different perspectives, we are further fostering innovation, which is a top priority for us. New approaches like this are needed to encourage businesses to tap into a larger pool of qualified applicants.”
“We are extremely proud to launch our Autism at Work program, drawing upon and benefit from this uniquely qualified talent,” said John Sicard, chief executive officer at Kinaxis. “To further support individuals on the autism spectrum, we have selected QuickStart Autism, an Ottawa-based charity which provides early intervention for children with autism, as our charity of choice for 2016. With these two initiatives underway, we are helping to create meaningful and joy filled lives for those on the spectrum.”
QuickStart Autism is a non-profit, primarily volunteer organization whose mission is to help children with autism reach their full potential. Suzanne Jacobson, a grandmother of two young boys on the autism spectrum, founded QuickStart Autism because she knew the profound difference early treatment could make. “QuickStart Autism is honoured to work with Kinaxis,” said Jacobson. “The donations received from our various fundraising efforts go directly to helping young children and their families.”