A local start-up company is giving unique employment opportunities for people with autism. Xceptional is a new software testing firm that provides software testing services to its customers. Speaking at the company’s launch recently, Xceptional founder and CEO, Mike Tozer, said meticulous skills are necessary for the literal and methodical work involved with quality testing and analysis for websites and applications, traits which many in the autism spectrum display. These include a strong attention to detail, the ability to recognise patterns and keeping a strong focus.
“We recruit employees who can do the job based on their cognitive abilities. The particular set of skills we are looking for are embodied by a portion of those living on the spectrum, making them ideal for this type of work.”
Recruitment has been via word-of-mouth or through partners and the company recently signed an agreement with autism service provider Aspect. “Potential employees go through an activity based assessment procedure. We have done away with the interview process and put them directly onto software activities, either at computers or game based, to help determine their capabilities instead of asking direct questions,” Tozer told F2L.
Tozer was motivated to set up the business following the experiences of his sister who is on the autism spectrum and had struggled with employment for 20 years. After a recent incident where she was treated unfairly he decided to start up a firm that he said: “would lead and show other employers that with some adaption and understanding you can embrace people with disability rather than let them go. These people are constantly being told what their challenges are not their strengths. I want to focus on their strengths.”
As well customers who work with government, technology and e-commerce companies Xceptional also has a recruitment arm to assist technology firms employ people on the autism spectrum. Tozer said nearly two-thirds of the estimated 230,000 Australians living with autism are unemployed.
For more information visit:Xceptional.io