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SAP Focus on Hiring Adults with Autism Featured on CBS News

June 11, 2014

(June 11, 2014) - Yesterday's CBS This Morning featured the efforts of technology giant SAP to recruit and hire adults with autism. The CBS team visited the Philadephia offices of SAP and met with 28-year-old Patrick Viesti, who has Asperger Syndrome and was recruited by SAP because of his autism. 

"Someone is willing to give them a chance, to say to them, 'I want you for your skills, I want you for the experience that you bring to the table,'" Viesti said.

Research has found that 85% of adults with autism are jobless or underemployed. SAP is one of the first of many companies to get on board with the idea that employees on the spectrum can bring a number of strengths to the workforce, including intelligence and memory, the ability to see patterns and attention to detail on repetitive tasks.

"There is no reason why we should leave these people unemployed when they have so much talent and there are so many vacant jobs in the high tech sector," said Thorkil Sonne, the father of a 17-year-old with autism and founder of SAP's "Autism at Work" program. 

Jose Velasco who heads up the program said, "It is in the best benefit of this company to employ people with these skills." 

SAP has hired 40 workers with autism at six locations around the world and the company is continuously working on their plan to hire hundreds of employees on the spectrum in the coming years.

To check out Autism Speaks employment-related resources, including our Employment Tool Kit, click here