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Different hardware, different software, different output

autism image.jpg

In association with BASS (Bristol Autism Spectrum Conditions), the DMA hosted a pilot training session last week on ASC conditions in the workplace. Hosted at Latcham Direct in Bristol, a number of local employers attended the session with the aim of kicking off an awareness raising campaign of neurodiversity in industry.

Did you know only 24 characters in global film and TV represent people with autism? 18 of those are superheroes. A staggering example that Matt, an employee from BASS, used to highlight the lack of representation in society of a group of individuals who have extraordinary talents. And, with the statistic released by NAS that only 16% of autistic adults are in employment in the UK, that stat evidently isn’t limited to the film and TV industry.

People with autism are incredible with detail and have fantastic executive functioning, which combines to produce an individual capable of handling extremely dense data sets. Where data is increasing at an overwhelming rate, our industry would undoubtedly benefit from these skills. This pilot training session started a discussion about how making reasonable adjustments in the workplace would enable employers to tap into this underutilised talent.

The group discussion started with a detailed look into ASC, exploring its history, diagnosis and characteristics, followed by an overview of suggestions of how to make the workplace more inclusive and welcoming for people with autism. ‘Would an autistic person recommend your workplace to another autistic person?’ was a question that continued to emerge, encouraging attendees to reflect on their business environment from training and recruitment, to the physical setting.

With an overwhelmingly positive response from participants to take their learnings to see how best these could be adapted to their businesses, we’re confident in progressing this initiative in industry. Of course, this is just the beginning, but the potential is huge and we are encouraging as many businesses to get involved as possible. As one attendee commented, ‘this shouldn’t even be an initiative. We should be employing people for their fantastic skills irrespective of any neurodevelopmental conditions.’ 

We’re currently in the planning process of the next steps of this initiative, but if you would like to be involved, please let Hannah McMartin know.

 

‘It seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential.’ Hans Asperger.

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