Pioneering IT project paves the way for those with autism
A Poznań-based foundation is helping people on the autistic spectrum gain qualifications and jobs in the IT sector as software testers.
The asperIT project began in 2015 with a pilot project run in collaboration with the Lower Silesia Association for Autism.
The widely praised program even received recognition from the Ministry of Development in 2018 as one of the most innovative projects in Poland.
Divided into four stages, the opening part kicks-off with recruitment with candidates screened by tutors to determine whether or not they have the required skills.
The second phase is spread over five to six meetings and acclimatizes the trainees to workplace protocol, such as social interactions with their superiors and colleagues. This can often be the most daunting part for people with autism. Among other things, the training aims to boost the confidence and awareness of those participating.
Tomasz Jasiński, president of the asperIT Foundation, told Newseria Innowacje: “The next stage is the technical training, during which, in the case of a course for software testers, we prepare them for the certified ISTQB exam, which is organized by the Information Systems Quality Association.”
This training is intense and seeks to put the candidates through their paces over a series of six- to eight-hour working days.
Once they have received their professional qualifications, Jasiński and his team help the graduates take their first tentative steps into the world of work – according to Jasiński, it’s this hands-on, practical experience that is the most important part of the program.
This is provided through an apprenticeship that promises to be the ultimate reward for those completing the program. Lasting five weeks, and accompanied by tutors, those who have qualified will find themselves launched into real life situations involving meetings and working with cases from IT companies.