Specialisterne Northern Ireland is an Autism at Work consultancy, which opened in Belfast in April 2014. As part of the Specialisterne International Network, which spans 15 countries for 16 years, and which pioneered the Autism at Work movement, we aim to support autistic people to get ready for, secure, and sustain, rewarding careers.
Over the past 2 years our team has grown to a team of 10 Autism Consultants, all of whom have studied Autism at degree or Masters level, in a variety of degree and Masters disciplines. Together we have supported over 1000 autistic people. In 2015 we opened our doors to ask autistic people what they wanted to achieve and how Specialisterne NI could help them achieve what they want. From that time, all services from initial design, to ongoing decisions, are decided by autistic people. We have 2 autistic communities, an adult autistic community and an inter-school autistic community, who inform everything we do.
At this time we are recruiting Autism Consultants to join our Bank of Autism Consultants. All work is currently online due to the current pandemic, however will return to a blended face to face and online working once the opportunity arises. If you are passionate about autism, enjoy listening to autistic people and following the lead of autistic people, and you would like to make a difference in the experiences of autistic people, we would like to invite you to apply to join our team as a Bank Worker.
This is an excellent opportunity to join a unique not-for-private-profit organisation in Northern Ireland where you will have the opportunity to work with a small team of autism specialists seeking to develop new tools and techniques which support the career development and well-being of autistic people. Connected to initiatives for autistic people worldwide, this is an opportunity to innovate in relation to the well-being of autistic people by contributing to autistic people-led initiatives, which are designed by autistic people themselves.
Job Title: Bank worker- Autism Consultants-immediate opportunities available.
Overview: Autism Consultant
Autism Consultants will deliver participant support and will be involved in project delivery. Autism Consultants who are part of the Bank of Autism Consultants will have opportunity to consider part-time and full-time roles as they become available. Current opportunities include a part-time opportunity – 22.5 hours weekly.
- Study in a relevant subject area at undergraduate or post graduate level (this includes currently studying or completed). Examples of relevant study include Atypical Development, Psychology, Education, Community, Autism Spectrum related, Sensory Integration. Other subject areas will also be considered in terms of relevance.
- Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of autism.
- Open to learn and to research new tools and techniques that may support programme participants to secure goals.
- Aptitude for empowering autistic young people by facilitating autistic people leading.
- Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of autism.
- Experience in supporting children, young people, or adults on the autistic spectrum to achieve the changes they want.
- Experience in supporting people in small groups.
- Experience in documentation of work to a high standard.
- A driving licence or ability to travel when required (and within working hours).
Terms and Conditions
• Specialisterne NI is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Employment to this post is therefore subject to an Access NI Enhanced Check.
• Specialisterne NI is an equal opportunities employer.
Remuneration; £20,000-23,000 pro rata
As we seek to reflect the people we serve, autistic people are particularly welcome to apply.
As males are currently under represented, we particularly welcome applications from male applicants.
• Interested applicants should send a Curriculum Vitae and a Cover letter detailing how you meet the essential and desirable criteria to:
Sharon Didrichsen, Manager, Specialisterne NI
By email: email@example.com
• Closing date for applications: 18 November 2020
• For additional information regarding Specialisterne NI, visit https://www.specialisterneni.com or contact Sharon Didrichsen at firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile 07565 936191
The team at Specialisterne NI are delighted to welcome new Directors to its voluntary board. Please join us in welcoming Seamus Gallagher.
Throughout my 20 year career in the IT industry I have been fortunate enough to be in a position to offer support to a range of organisations that work with individuals to help them achieve their full potential. The work of Specialisterne NI is of particular interest to me as a father of a 10 year old boy who has Asperger’s. I’ve had several conversations (prompted by my son) about what he might want to be when he grows up – Lego Designer has been mentioned! Regardless of what career path he chooses I want my son to have every opportunity to reach his full potential in life – in and outside of work. Specialisterne NI’s programmes offer the kind of support that my son may wish to avail of as he gets older.
Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to learn more about the great work that Sharon and the team undertake. The support that Specialisterne NI provides to people is exceptional; the team are committed and passionate about the difference that they make. I am delighted to be joining the organisation as they continue the journey to not only support autistic individuals in their chosen careers, but also advise and guide employers in understanding the benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace.
I hope that I can bring my experiences of working with a diverse range of hugely talented people offering their unique perspectives across a broad variety of roles. My work within both academia and industry, as well as my knowledge of strategy; transformation; governance & risk, will also allow me to contribute to the continued development of Specialisterne NI’s vision. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
I am honoured to have been invited to Chair the Specialisterne NI board. The opportunity to help Sharon and the team build on their success to date and map out a vision for supporting autistic people and employers into the next decade is one which I am relishing.
I am currently Head of Strategy and Partnerships and Engagement at QUB’s Centre for Secure Information Technologies -CSIT and ECIT Institute having joined as Technical Marketing Manager in 2012. As a member of the Senior Management Group, I lead on developing new and existing strategic relationships with mainly public sector partners internationally, nationally and regionally that have a role or interest in cyber security research, innovation and public policy. This and my experience overseeing the marketing. communications and public affairs portfolio at the Institute will be put to good use in my capacity as Chair.
Recent relevant projects I have worked on include the UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2020 and Understanding the UK cyber security skills labour market 2020- both for DCMS and the NI Cyber Security Framework for Action published by the NI Department for Finance in 2018. In 2015 I co-founded cyber security start up Liopa Ltd and was a member of the N Ireland Cyber Leadership Board set up to oversee the implementation of the NI Cyber Security Framework for Action. Since 2012 I have co-Chaired the annual CSIT Cyber Security Summit and co-founded the Cyber Security Transatlantic Policy Forum in 2019. During my 20 year career I have also held roles in the public, private and voluntary sectors at Invest NI, Lagan Technologies, the Northern Ireland Office, the Educational Guidance Service for Adults, Jinny Software and Intel Corporation.
I hold a MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a BSc in Computer Science, was a Fellow of the US State Department sponsored 2018 All-Ireland Strengthening Cybersecurity Professional Exchange Program at Boston College and completed the Emerging Leaders Programme at QUB in 2017.
The team at Specialisterne NI are delighted to welcome new Directors to its voluntary board. Please join us in welcoming Leanne Hamilton.
I am passionate about neurodiversity in the workplace. As a leader in the defined benefits pensions industry, I have worked with many autistic or non-neurotypical people. What often makes them so good at their jobs is that they offer different perspectives.
My daughter is exceptional, she is direct, tenacious and persistent at solving problems. But as selection processes focus on soft skills such as eye contact and small talk she is unlikely to reach her career potential.
I want to help to change perceptions and highlight the benefits that hiring people with different ways of thinking can bring. That is why I am excited to join the board of Specialisterne NI and help them in their work towards a goal of 1 million careers for autistic people.
The team at Specialisterne NI are delighted to welcome new Directors to its voluntary board. Please join us in welcoming Brian Byers.
It’s hard for me to explain how excited I am to join the Specialisterne team from both a personal and professional perspective.
Having worked in career development and employability for over 15 years, with the last 12 years with Ulster University I hope I can bring a lot of experience and knowledge to how Specialisterne develops and expands its amazing services whether that’s programme development, employer engagement or helping to further expand other activities that Specialisterne have been driving. My roles in Ulster University have been varied but have always focused on employability and career development. I currently manage Employability Services across our campuses but have also led in areas such as employer engagement, curriculum development, the management of our University Skills Award (Ulster EDGE Award). At present there is lot of focus on maximising the use of technology in a way that meets the needs of our large and diverse student community.
From a personal perspective, as a parent of a 10 year old boy who happens to be autistic I can’t wait to be part of the development of services and activities that will help him and his peers to fulfil their potential and critically, to feel more connected with each other. Having gone through the struggle of helping him access the right and appropriate education I now look towards his future and what opportunities and obstacles he and his peers will face and that’s why I feel so passionate about what Specialisterne has and is continuing to do. I am not sure there is a stronger motivation to support the work of Specialisterne than that. I can’t wait to get started.
555 is a great number, especially when it represents the number of hours autistic young people from 15 grammar and secondary schools, and young people out of school, have spent connecting with each other over Lockdown in Connect4 online social and interest groups.
Connect4 is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. For details of Connect4 and how your young person could take part, contact Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com
Specialisterne NI is part of the international Specialisterne network which works across 15 countries to support 1 million careers for autistic people. Specialisterne NI opened in Belfast in 2014 and now has a team of 10 Autism Specialists. We support autistic people, age 10 – 60+, to feel more confident, to connect with each other, and to prepare for and fulfill rewarding careers. Specialisterne is a pioneer of the Autism at Work movement. Autism at Work inspires companies worldwide to adopt best practice when recruiting and developing the talents of autistic people.
In 2015 Specialisterne NI started a process of consulting with autistic people. Rather than assuming what autistic people want, we asked autistic people about wants and needs and how Specialisterne NI could be of service. This started the creation of a dynamic and exciting culture, by which every programme at Specialisterne NI is informed by participants’ thoughts and ideas. We believe that listening to and acting on the thoughts and ideas of autistic people can lead to changing the root issues which autistic people face in their daily lives.
Due to a period of growth, Specialisterne is recruiting 2 new board members. Having had an interim Chair, we are appointing a Chair.
If you are excited at the opportunity to be part of a participant-led organisation, and are passionate about improving the lives of autistic people, we would like to hear from you.
For an information pack, please contact Sharon Didrichsen at Sharond@specialisterne.com