Delighted winners: Auticon founder Dirk Müller-Remus plus team with the journalist Michael Jungblut and award initiator Heinrich Otto Deichmann. Photo credits: Deichmann Förderpreis
The Berlin based Auticon GmbH has secured first prize in the Deichmann Förderpreis award category ‘Occupational Support by Businesses‘. The enterprise exclusively employs people on the autism spectrum as IT consultants. Along with the award, Auticon received a grant of € 15.000.
In its tenth year, the Deichmann Förderpreis award for integration goes to the Berlin based enterprise Auticon. The jury particularly honoured the occupational integration of disadvantaged young people into society. Auticon’s business model is based on exclusively employing people on the autism spectrum in the field of IT quality assurance.
Auticon has won first prize in the category ‘Occupational Support by Businesses’ and received a grant of € 15.000. According to the jury, Auticon pioneers in its field by demonstrating that employing people with autism doesn’t necessarily imply intense and time consuming supervision by managers or co-workers. The enterprise thus contributes to increasing the life satisfaction of individuals on the autism spectrum. ‘The award winners are setting the standard for other enterprises. Impediments such as disabilities must not stand in the way of successfully contributing to society and the labour market’, says initiator Heinrich Otto Deichmann, Deichmann SE’s executive director, at the awards ceremony.
‘This award is a great confirmation of our business model to employ people on the autism spectrum within the mainstream labour market’, says Dirk Müller-Remus, Auticon’s founder and managing director.
The enterprise creates jobs for people on the spectrum based on strengths in pattern recognition, attention to detail and logic. These strengths are particularly applicable to the field of IT quality assurance. ‘Heterogeneous teams operate more efficiently. The output quality of our client’s projects increases significantly’.
Any social or communication difficulties the consultants on the autism spectrum may have are mitigated by Auticon’s in-house job coaches. ‘Our business model is driven by the idea of genuine inclusion: Our job coaches offer as much support as necessary but as little as possible. They are not placed with our consultants on site but operate as a constant point of contact and support in the background’, explains Müller-Remus. ‘We’re getting continuous positive feedback for this approach – from consultants as well as clients.’
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