Disability:IN is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Our network of over 400 corporations expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. Our central office and 25 Affiliates serve as the collective voice to effect change for people with disabilities in business.
I have worked with DisabilityIn in a number of ways. From giving neurodiversity presentations as a number of there members large and small to serving on the committee that researches and approves DOBE (disability-owned business enterprises) applications.
When they sent out a communication asking for individuals willing to do video for part of their series "People in Disability" I volunteered right away. We had a short timeframe to get the video shot and for Justis to turn my raw footage into a quality presentable piece. He did a great job and I am proud to share my story.
This was a fun presentation for a few reasons. About a year ago Liz Green from Link OT and I worked with Children's Hospital DEI head Robert to plan and launch a neurodiversity ERG. But at Children's because of the large number of people working at the hospital but not employed by the hospital Robert made it a TMRG, Team Member Resource Group, so everyone working at their facilities could participate and benefit. So it was great to present to the now up and running group and learn their application to be chartered was recently accepted.
The topic I chose to present is an idea that organizations should be looking at ways to make it easier for all workers to get the support and tools they need to be their most productive selves. This should not be limited to those who have a diagnosed disability and always handled through the legal approach of the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act. Instead I propose the organization create a list of reapproved items that any worker can request...
You can put this one into the "Things I never expected when I started my autism/neurodiversity self-advocacy journey". I was contacted by the editors Porch.com about writing a 250 - 350 word piece to be included in a post about sensory rooms at Porch.com. It sounded like something interesting and the length fit the time I had available.
The post is a composite of pieces from a variety of people to give a full overview of the topic. My contribution is about 1/2 the way down the page. Check the post out. Here is the link:
I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected as one of the top 50 neurodiversity evangelists for 2023. I am grateful for this recognition and would like to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey.
Neurodiversity is an important topic, and I am passionate about spreading awareness and understanding of the neurodistinct and the unique perspectives and challenges they have. I am dedicated to being a self-advocating for equal opportunities and inclusivity for all individuals who are neurodistinct, and I am honored to be part of this community.
Thanks to Theo Smith and ND by Design for this incredible honor. I look forward to continuing to work towards creating a more neuroinclusive world.
ND by Design Top 50 Global Neurodiversity Evangelists
And yes, I did use a different picture in this announcement then on the ND by Design site. The more professional looking one on the Top 50 page works great there. But for my own site I prefer...
I had the honor of being asked to join CAI Neurodiverse Solutions' Advisory board.
CAI has put together a powerhouse advisory board. It includes members from all segments involved in neurodistinct employment. I look forward to working with these amazing board members and the great team at CAI.
CAI Neurodiverse Solutions is an end-to-end neurodiversity employment program that helps organizations realize the benefits of neurodiversity. Our successful employment model is designed to bring the untapped neurodiverse talent pool into the workforce and creates more career opportunities for a broader range of neurodivergent individuals. Our mission is to build innovative business solutions that deliver results while developing rewarding, long-lasting careers for the neurodiverse community and leading the way to an inclusive workforce environment.
6 am on Thanksgiving morning here in Denver I joined Jude Morrow in Northern Ireland who is host of the podcast Neurodiversity Gold and award winning designer and innovative thinker on neurodiversity Dr Lutza Ireland who joined from Australia. The 6 am time was to make it work with the 3 of us spread around the globe. It was 11 pm for Dr Lutza and Jude got off easy with it being the beginning of the afternoon.
We had a great chat on multiple topics as is always to be expected when speaking with Dr Lutza or Jude. But we really dug in to why the term Neurodivergent needs to be replaced with neurodistinct. We have change terminology in virtually all areas of our life over the last couple of decades, but a term that has no solid foundation and from many aspects we discuss carries negative baggage has remains the banner in the autistic world. Seems strange that we are seeking acceptance with a term who's root is division.
Check out the episode and 2 of my wonderful...
Dart Lindsley ( https://www.linkedin.com/in/dart-lindsley ) has spent decades working in HR for major companies in the tech industry. But, Dart is far from the norm you expect in that line of work. He has unique and innovative ways of looking at work. The first time I met him he asked me "What did you hire your job to do for you?". It is a questions he asks frequently and it really makes you think about work in a very different light.
Dart is always a joy to talk with and recording a conversation for his podcast was no different. He again asked me "What did you hire your job to do for you?" and the question again made me think about my current role in a different way. As always our conversation wandered through many topics as we circled around neuroversity and how the neurodistict do and should fit in. Once again we ran out of time before either of us ran out of interest and things to discuss.
It was truly an honor to be a guest on Work For Humans. It was fun discussing...
I had a great time talking with autistic podcaster Reid Miles as we recorded the show. This is how Reid describes the podcast: "Chats with people who deal with ASD and ADHD. I talk to those in the profession like therapist or even chats with mothers who have kids on the spectrum. Just honest chats with questions thrown in. Where two people can sit and share thoughts on the spectrum Come join us we I talk with people from all over the ASD and ADHD field."
The session was a relaxed conversation of my experiences and ideas on autism and neurodiversity. We also dug into why I use Neurodistinct to replace Neurodivergent. I have posted about this on my blog, but there is even more in our discussion.
You can find the episode at: https://insidetheaspergersstudio.podbean.com/e/nero-divergent-or-nero-distinct/
If you prefer a video version peeking in at us as we concentrate on doing audio, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkjEWNZKJbk
Reid also has a blog at: ...
In September 2022 I did a 1-1/2 hour event for Help\Systems. There was great attendance and engagement with over 1000 employees from 18 countries joining the virtual event. Their leader of DEI Andrea Rooney has done an amazing job making diversity a strong part of their culture. She had me present to introduce them to neurodiversity. Even with an hour for Q&A there were still many questions in chat I couldn't get to.
Engagement was tremendous with 1000 out of 2700 people joining the virtual event from 18 countries. Andrea was very happy with the results of the presentation.
Here is a quote from Andrea: "Thank you again for a fabulous presentation. The response from our organization has been outstanding. It exceeded my goal of introducing the concepts and having people walk away with a new perspective and understanding about diversity and the neurodistinct."
This video isn't the live presentation, but me answering a selection of those remaining...
September 1, 2022, Rockville, MD — The Autism Society of America is thrilled to welcome Asila Calhoun, Stephen DeStefani, and Tim Goldstein as new members of the National Board of Directors. Their professional backgrounds, advocacy and passion will positively contribute to the strong group of individuals making up the National Board of Directors.
“The Autism Society of America has been focused on board recruitment to add to the diversity of experiences, backgrounds, abilities, and skill sets to best support the organization’s goals,” shares Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America. ” Through added depth of knowledge and varied perspectives, the organization will be positioned for success to continue...