US technology giant Microsoft has launched a pilot program to hire autistic workers at its headquarters in Washington state.

'People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft,' Mary Ellen Smith, a corporate vice president wrote in a company blog last week.

'Each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code. It's a talent pool that we want to continue to bring to Microsoft!'

Australian not-for-profit disability service provider Northcott has launched a new subsidiary named Northcott Innovation. Described as a “radical new organisation,” the subsidiary will be dedicated to co-creating creative and unexpected solutions to support people with disability.

“We will work on projects and initiatives that make real improvements to inclusion by innovatively using equipment and technology, redesigning services and supports and driving social change,” said Northcott Innovation Executive Director Liz Forsyth.

High school student Arsh Shah Dilbagi recognised that people who could not communicate verbally needed better options. 1.4% of the world’s population is unable to communicate verbally due to a range of disabilities and conditions. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) options presently available are costly, bulky and not useable to all.

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