With Jose Velasco heading The Autism at Work initiative, SAP is becoming a global leader in hiring individuals with I/DD. In 2014, SAP partnered with Specialisterne USA and The Arc to develop an IT Training and on-boarding program in the US. Pilot programs are underway in Newtown Square, PA and Palo Alto, CA.
Through the pilot sites, 12 individuals with autism were hired and are now working at SAP. At the culmination of the first round of hiring, SAP held awareness events at both sites and invited staff and other partner companies to attend. Both events were heavily attended and the audience was able to learn about the Autism at Work program, meet some of the new hires, and get information about supporting individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Following the awareness events, SAP created a video to spread even greater awareness of the success of people with autism to a national and international audience. SAP has now begun a second round of hiring and plans to continue to hire individuals with autism for years to come in even more locations and in greater numbers.
SAP has given individuals with I/DD the opportunity to thrive in the workplace. They have promoted their values both internally and externally to corporate partners across the country and internationally.