I established Inclusive Change to address inequalities in employment for young people and adults who are autistic or neurodivergent but what does that really mean?
Many of you will have heard of people like Richard Branson (Entrepreneur), Simone Biles (Gymnast) Daniel Radcliffe (Actor), Greta Thunberg (Activist) but do you know what they all have in common?
Well, they are all Neurodivergent.
That means that they experience the world, think and process stuff in a way that is different to most people. People who are neurodivergent may be dyslexic, autistic, have ADHD, dyspraxia or Tourette’s syndrome. There are lots of other descriptions and conditions but those are the most well known.
Being Neurodivergent can bring with it some challenges, particularly as an adult trying to get a job, stay in a job or grow in a job. This article isn’t long enough to discuss all of those challenges, but if I only tell you that just 22% of autistic adults are in any form of paid employment, as compared to around 80% for the general population, that should give you an indication that there is a significant problem in this area of work.
The names I mentioned earlier have overcome challenges to be successful in their lives and careers – Richard Branson is dyslexic, Greta Thunberg is autistic, Daniel Radcliffe is dyspraxic, and Simone Biles has ADHD.
Neurodiversity is a term that you will hear more about and I truly believe it is one of the most important topics to understand in the next 5 – 10 years in the world of work. Understanding Neurodiversity at Work will bring incredible benefits for employers and organisations and individuals.
The term neurodiversity relates to the natural diversity of human minds, it was first used by Judy Singer, an autistic sociologist back in the late 1990’s – it’s taken a while to gain some traction in the world of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion but now it really is being recognised and organisations are taking action to make change.
At Inclusive Change we are doing something positive to make a difference for young people who are neurodivergent who may not (yet) have the same success as Richard, Simone, Daniel and Greta. We already employ neurodivergent staff and parents of children who are neurodivergent and we are now launching a Neurodiversity At Work Experience Programme to reach young people and adults and support them to aim high with their career ambitions.
We are doing this with the help of the National Lottery Awards For All and Quartet Community Funding. This will be delivered by Inclusive Change At Work CIC our community interest company.
Inclusive Change can provide training and consultancy for organisations and coaching and support for individuals.