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Neurodiversity: Diversity You Cannot See

By | July 20, 2022

Many companies across the globe – especially in tech – have launched diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs for a more diverse workforce. Even with increasing DEI programs, the neurodivergent group is often overlooked in these conversations.

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is an approach to education and ability that supports the fact that various neurological conditions are the effect of normal changes and variations in the human genome. ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia, and Dyslexia all fall within the spectrum of “Neurodiversity” and are all neurodiverse conditions. It basically outlines that there is no “right” way of thinking, learning or behaving and that differences should not be viewed as deficits.

In fact, an estimated 40% of people have or deal with autistic, attention deficit, anxiety, and/or dyslexic disorders. Combined, these mental differences account for the bulk of what sociologists refer to as “neurodiversity,” or natural variations in everyone’s brain, particularly those who have outlying characteristics, such as autism.

How do I learn more?

Cynthia Coupé is a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) with more than 30 years of experience with neurodiversity. She is a TEDx speaker and the co-founder and CEO of Outreach Advocacy Resources and Services (OARS), Inc.. She is moderating a one hour webinar on Wednesday, July 27 at 9 am PDT/12 pm EDT titled, “Diversity You Cannot See: A Special Event on Neurodiversity in the Mainframe Workplace.” Register here for the live discussion.

Cynthia will be joined by three neurodivergent proponents in the tech industry including:

  • Kenneth Ellington, Software Engineer at Broadcom
  • Ben Vanhook, Programs and Outreach Associate at Organization for Autism Research
  • Chelsea Asaro, SourceAbled Solutions Manager at Rangam Consultants

Together, they’ll discuss how neurotypical people can better interact with this intelligent and unique population, where communication breakdowns usually happen, and what the future holds for this often misunderstood but increasingly important talent pool. They’ll also explore how societal awareness, appreciation, and participation with neurodivergent people can have a big impact on the way we work, learn, and commune with one another.

What if I miss the event?

The special event is on Wednesday, July 27 at 9 am PT/12 pm ET.  Register here. If you can not make it to the live webinar, replays will be available on Youtube later that week. Additionally, for those attendees of the webinar who would like to ask questions or find more resources, a Q&A Town Hall is scheduled for Thursday, July 28 at 9 am PT/12 pm ET. The zoom link will be shared at the webinar.

More details:

Making our Strong Community Stronger is the first-ever initiative on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the mainframe industry. Sponsored by BMC, Broadcom Mainframe Software, IBM, Open Mainframe Project, Rocket Software, TechChannel, and VirtualZ Computing. 

Other resources: