Is there anyone out there that has ideas about how to do this?
This is about more than just people with Aspergers Syndrome. This is a question for all of us that work with people that have been marginalized in our communities because of disability, criminal history, poverty, etc. In other words, those that deviate from the norm bear gifts that our society unknowingly desperately needs. How do we mine for those hidden gifts in the margins and also find the innovation our communities so desperately need?
The problem of marginalization is invisibility and inaccessibility. People on the margins are largely invisible to those in the mainstream. The resources of the mainstream are largely inaccessible to those on the margins because of barriers like education, language, communication, experiences, and networks. See concept drawing.
“According to Harvard, the really serious innovation comes not from the middle of the mainstream but from the outliers.”
“Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon Valley; and the energy crisis would not be solved.” (Temple Grandin)
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)
“We are a case study at Harvard not because we do software testing but because we manage people that they call ‘the outliers’, says Sonne, those on "the edges of normality.” Hiring people on the autistic spectrum also opens up corporations to new ways of thinking. The Harvard Business School agrees.”
(Harnessing the special skills of the 'outliers'. The Irish Times, Thursday, April 12, 2012)
“Everyone who lives and works within the autism field knows that we are witnessing a tsunami of young people with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum coming up through the school system, and soon transitioning into the labor market. The US Centre of Decease Control (CDC) estimated recently that the number of autistic kids in the US has skyrocketed by 78% since 2000. Nowadays, one in 88 American kids has autism, according to the new figures, and one in 54 among boys. Those are facts we cannot ignore, and calls for decisive action.” http://specialistpeople.com/
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