Supply chain management software company the first Ottawa organization to partner with Specialisterne Canada to hire employees on the autism spectrum
OTTAWA, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - 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, IBM 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."
Kinaxis is a leading provider of cloud-based subscription software that enables customers to improve and accelerate analysis and decision-making across their supply chain operations. The supply chain planning and analytics capabilities of our product, RapidResponse, create the foundation for managing multiple, interconnected supply chain management processes. By using the single RapidResponse product instead of combining individual disparate software solutions, our customers gain visibility across their supply chains, can respond quickly to changing conditions, and ultimately realize significant operating efficiencies.
Specialisterne is an internationally recognized leader in harnessing the talents of people on the autism spectrum, providing them with the opportunity to sustain meaningful employment. Founded in Denmark in 2004 by Thorkil Sonne, it has operations in fourteen countries worldwide. Businesses partner with Specialisterne because they recognize the value in hiring people who think and communicate differently – an asset in problem solving, team building and innovation. The expertise Specialisterne has acquired over more than a decade is transferable, and the organization works closely with its employment partners to integrate proven practices into their operating environments. Specialisterne Canada has operations across Canada. Specialisterne delivers its programs in Ontario in partnership with Autism Ontario and local service providers and with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.