After working with SAS for over twenty years to employ individuals with autism, a little over a year ago, they approached TEACCH Supported Employment to help them rethink their internship program and how they could be more inclusive for people with autism. Six interns started this summer. Congratulations to SAS and everyone involved.
Technical students on the autism spectrum gain valuable experience helping create the next generation of SAS® software
A SAS internship program that provides opportunities to students on the autism spectrum has earned the company recognition from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). SAS has been named the winner of the 2019 NACE Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award.
The company’s Autism Spectrum Internship Program provides students who self-identify on the autism spectrum with a tailored interviewing process and onboarding experience to bridge the gap between academic and on-the-job learning. The purpose is to focus on the critical skills necessary to do the job – the strengths of these students – and remove barriers to obtaining meaningful employment using a traditional interview process geared toward neurotypical individuals.
“I am proud to work for a company that recognizes the need for and the potential of neurodiversity. Inclusion and diversity are strengths,” said Oliver Schabenberger, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer of SAS. “The Autism Spectrum Internship Program tears down barriers for interns on the autism spectrum. The majority of autistic individuals have exceptional talents, often in technical domains. Their unemployment and underemployment rate exceeds 80%. We can do better.”