Microsoft’s Data and Artificial Intelligence Academy

The team at Specialisterne NI is delighted to support neurodiverse applicants to Microsoft’s third academy in Belfast, Microsoft’s Data and Artificial Intelligence Academy. The Data and AI Academy is a 12 week intensive training course. If you successfully complete the training academy, you’ll gain industry-recognised qualifications and be guaranteed an interview to join the Microsoft Consulting Services team based in Belfast.

How we can help you apply to the academy:

  • Meet a neurodiverse team member at Microsoft who joined Microsoft through a previous academy
  • Ask any questions you may have about the Data and Artificial Intelligence academy
  • Attend an application workshop
  • Book a 1-1 application prep session

How we can help you at interview stage:

  • Attend an interviewing workshop
  • Book a 1-1 interview practice session
  • Ask what for what helps you perform at your best at interview.

You don’t need a diagnosis to access support for the academy, if you feel the support may be useful, we would love to hear from you.

For details of the academy, and to apply, visit: Data and Applied Intelligence Academy | nidirect 

The academy is open to applications until midnight on Sunday 9 May. 

This is what recent applicants said about the difference that support made:

‘I found the support from Specialisterne in relation to this Microsoft academy to be excellent and beneficial. They helped me with applying and with preparing for the interview.’

‘I really appreciate this service was provided to us. It really helped me. Overall I received an amazing support’

‘This helped my confidence with the interview.’

‘I felt less nervous as I had a better idea on what to expect.’



Introducing Neurodiverse Ally Workshops

Join the Connect4 inter-school autistic community!

Connect4 is welcoming autistic pupils at secondary or grammar schools, or who are out-of-school to join the Connect4 inter-school autistic community!

Support to start out on or progress in your career-Recruit+/++ programmes are welcoming expressions of interest

Recruit+/++ programmes are co-designed with autistic people to provide the supports autistic people consider to be useful when starting out on or continuing on careers, across all sectors and types of jobs. Recruit programmes are currently welcoming expressions of interest from autistic people. You do not need a diagnosis to join Recruit, we simply ask that you consider yourself to be on the autistic spectrum.


Join our autistic community!

Specialisterne is welcoming autistic people to join the ALL2gether autistic community.

Part-Time Finance Officer (Accounting Technician): 2 Days Per Week Specialisterne NI

Specialisterne NI  is recruiting an experienced Accounting Technician to join its growing team as Finance Officer. Working 2 days per week, the Finance Officer will be part of a dynamic team who contribute to the Specialisterne mission of 1 million careers for autistic people. The Finance Officer role will involve the following:

Monthly Bank reconciliations for 2 bank accounts

BACS payroll for 10+ employees

Pension administration

Purchase ledger administration, supplier payment processing

Preparation of financial reports for the board, which include management accounts, profit and loss, cashflow

Prepare and submit grant funding claims and maintain grant budgets

Prepare purchase orders

Prepare financial information for Accountants and Auditors

Utilise Sage Accounts package

Process BACS payments and record attribution to projects

Credit control

Grant budgets and grant claims, liaison with grant funders.

Maintaining up to date records, administration related to accounts

Financial reporting

Person Specification


Accounting Technician qualified

Experience in working in the not-for-profit sector

Experience in preparing management accounts and profit and loss for a board

Interest in contributing to 1 million careers for autistic people


Experience in using Sage

Experience in preparation of grant claims


Closing Date

Friday / 19 March 2021 11:59pm


Competitive salary, commensurate with experience
Remote working facilitated. Post Lockdown the role is expected to be part in office and part working from home.

Contact Details

For details, or to send a CV, contact Sharon Didrichsen at

Specialisterne NI, Skainos, 239 Newtownards Road

We are recruiting! Autism Consultant-Recruit+ 

Specialisterne Northern Ireland is an Autism at Work consultancy. 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. Established in 2014, Specialisterne NI took a co-design route to address unemployment and under-employment  of autistic people. This led to the creation of a new, evolving, autistic community model of employability for and by autistic people.
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 adults.

Job Title: Autism Consultant (Full-time hours). Project: Recruit+    

The Recruit+ programme was designed following consultation with autistic people in 2016 through surveys and focus groups with 100 autistic people and consultation with employers, recruitment consultancies, university and college staff and employment training providers. It is designed to provide the additional supports that help autistic people secure rewarding careers.

Working as part of the Recruit Project team, the Recruit+ Autism Consultant’s aim is to support participants, who are young people or adults on the autistic spectrum, to experience reduced attitudinal and communication barriers, and to progress in relation to having a career.

By providing autism specialist support, the Recruit+ Autism Consultant will help participants feel more ready to meet employers, education and training providers, and to make a positive start to a new career.

The Recruit+ Autism Consultant will also connect with an exciting employer mentor network who will inform the Recruitcurriculum, ensuring participant’s learning pathways are relevant to their chosen career at this time, and who will provide learning opportunities for participants.

Job Description
• One to one meetings with Recruit+ participants, to support participants to develop strategies to achieve goals.
• Support of Career Clubs. For example, helping participants develop employability skills and resilience strategies for working life.

• Recruitment consultancy and employer briefings.
• Support of group workshops.

• Taking part in board games and other social activities
• Undertaking weekly activities, along with the Recruit project team, to support participants to achieve project aims, such as securing employment and further training or education.
• Maintaining records in relation to all project activity, in line with Specialisterne NI quality standards and GDPR regulations.
• Ongoing learning related to autism and autistic people and of tools and techniques which may support Recruit+ participants to achieve project objectives.  There is a 6 month induction plan with Autism Specialists, followed by ongoing learning and professional development.
• Any other activity which fits the remit of the Recruit+ project.

Person Specification

• 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, Human Resources, Education, Autism Spectrum related, Sensory Integration. Other subject areas will also be considered in terms of relevance.
• Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of Autism.

• 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 according to quality standards.
• Demonstrated willingness to learn and a commitment to developing new solutions for autistic people.
• A driving licence or ability to travel to various locations across Belfast when required.

Terms and Conditions
• 37.5 hours weekly, times to be agreed with the successful candidate. Hours typically between 9am-5pm, Monday -Friday. Location: Currently working from home, moving to office based once the current restrictions are lifted. Based at the Specialisterne NI offices, Skainos, 239 Newtownards Road, Belfast.
•The position is fixed term and is expected to run to March 2022. Salary range: £20-25k, commensurate with experience.

• 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.

The Recruit+ programme is  part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 -2020, the Department for the Economy, and the Department for Communities.


Application Process
• Interested applicants should send a Curriculum Vitae to:
Sharon Didrichsen, Managing Director, Specialisterne NI
By email:
Or by post to:
Sharon Didrichsen
Specialisterne NI
239 Newtownards Road
• Closing date for applications: 5 February 2021
• For additional information regarding Specialisterne NI, visit or contact Sharon Didrichsen at Mobile 07565 936191
Bank of Autism Support Workers

With applicant permission, applicants from the shortlist for this post may also be considered for the Specialisterne NI Bank of Autism Support Workers for part-time or full-time roles.