the Partnership

The Arc@Work began a partnership with the Danish nonprofit Specialisterne in 2014. Through our joint agreement, The Chapters of The Arc have “the right of first refusal” as the implementing body at specific locations across the United States.

the Model

The Specialisterne model:

Provides an accelerated skills training platform that leads to industry-recognized credentials to enter the IT workforce.

Areas of specialization:

  • Software Management
  • Testing and Registration
  • Data Logistics
The Assessment

LEGO Mindstorms are used to evaluate a person’s open-ended problem solving skills, creative thinking, data interpretation ability, and software testing skills.

The Partnership
Model and
Fee Structure

More information coming soon!


The Specialisterne program is currently operational in four locations:

SpArc Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
AHRC New York City
New York, NY
The Arc of DC
Washington, DC
The Arc of the Midlands
Lexington, SC

Chapters of The Arc have contracts at these locations with a number of national and multinational corporations, including SAP, CAI and Towers Watson.


Specialisterne (which translates from Danish as “The Specialists”) is an innovative social business concept originally founded in Denmark in 2004. Specialisterne is internationally recognized as the first and foremost example of how high functioning people with autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder) can become effectively included in society, and provide valuable, high quality services to their employers.

Read more about Specialisterne

Specialisterne works to enable jobs for high functioning people with autism, and similar challenges, through social entrepreneurship, innovative employment models, and a national change in mindset.

Specialisterne has implemented a specialized assessment, training and employment program that works to create meaningful employment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by building relationships with technology companies looking to hire and retain experienced employees with ASD with the long-term goal of creating 100,000 jobs in the U.S.

The Training

The Specialisterne training develops participants’ soft job skills and provides job-specific training (called Scrum training) that prepares them for positions at major companies in IT and STEM related sectors.

SCRUM – is an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing software projects, products or application development.

Participants undergo a four-week assessment and training course that includes:

  • Skills evaluation and assessment
  • Assistance in improving soft-job skills, such as managing the job interview and interacting with supervisors and coworkers
  • On-the-job training and placement as computer programmers, software developers, systems administrators and analysts, and database administrators at corporations specifically interested in hiring youth with ASD

Read about the four-week training course

The Four-Week Training Course
  • (Week 1) Individual Comfort Zone
    Skills training on open-ended problem solving activities using science and mathematics concepts with soft skill development such as creative thinking, teamwork, and communication skills.
  • (Week 2) Team Comfort Zone
    Skills training on robotic solutions relations to computer software development through SCRUM framework. On the job experiences and interaction with current employees.
  • (Week 3) Passion for Details
    Simulated training activities on software testing and data handling.
  • (Week 4) Work Zone
    Social skills building such as conflict management, team work processes, and communication with supervisors.

In order to create a productive and supportive environment for both employers and new employees, the Specialisterne program also provides our partners with assistance in:

  • Employee awareness and education
  • Management training Consultation
  • Recruiting processes Support
  • Workplace accommodation Training