The Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) is an Australian social innovation initiative with the vision of harnessing the special talents of people with Autism for the collective benefit of those with Autism, industry and the wider community.
The mission of the AASQA is to enable individuals on the autism spectrum to leverage their unique talents through training, educating and mentoring programs, so as to create pathways to valued, long-term employment; whilst addressing the business needs of the Australian ICT industry facing challenges in attracting and retaining software testers within the sector.
The AASQA provides high-level expertise and services in assessment, training, education and work placements for individuals with Autism in the software testing industry. The primary key components of the AASQA include:
- a training academy with links to tertiary education bodies, to train and certify software inspectors with Autism (the Academy)
- an enterprise to provide graduates of the Academy with employment opportunities to meet the market need for organisational level software testing (the Enterprise).
The rich inter-dependencies between the Academy and Enterprise provides a strong business model to service the growing demands of the software testing industry, as well as delivering a game-changing shift in enabling valued employment opportunities for adults with Autism.
Underpinning the training academy is the development of programs targeting (1) outreach to high school students; (2) training and education support in ICT discipline areas; and (3) creation of work experience opportunities through internships.