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Carrie Grant to host new autism podcast

Broadcaster, vocal and leadership coach and campaigner, Carrie Grant MBE, is hosting a brand new podcast to drive great conversations about autism.

‘Autism: In conversation with auticon’ is being launched by the social enterprise of the same name, to drive awareness of the realities of autism in the workplace, from the merits of hiring neurodiverse talent, through to some of the more common challenges faced by autistic adults navigating the workplace.

Launching today (Thursday 18th November), the podcast series features interviews with leading voices on autism, such as figures from the business world, social media influencers and academics. It comes as auticon, a global IT consultancy whose consultants are all autistic, celebrates its 10th anniversary on 21st November.

Commenting on her involvement in the project, Carrie Grant said: “All four of my four children are neurodivergent, so this is a subject very close to my heart. By hosting ‘Autism: In conversation with auticon’ I have been really privileged to speak to some fascinating people about their experiences of autism and have learnt plenty of new things along the way. I am sure the audience will too!”

New research[1] by auticon, whose mission is to provide long-term career and employment opportunities to autistic adults, has shown that 1 in 10 autistic workers do not feel they can reveal their diagnosis in the workplace. Some of the key barriers to disclosing their diagnosis include:

  • 2 in 5 (40%) are not ready to tell people in the workplace
  • 1 in 3 (33%) have concerns about being treated adversely
  • 1 in 4 (27%) do not want to share their private information with their employer
  • 1 in 4 (27%) feel unsure how to communicate their diagnosis to people in their workplace
  • 1 in 5 (20%) have only recently been diagnosed
  • 1 in 5 (20%) are concerned about being thought of negatively by employers
  • 1 in 8 (13%) are concerned that it will have a negative impact on their prospects within the company
  • 1 in 14 (7%) have had a previous negative experience of disclosing

 

Andrea Girlanda, Chief Executive of auticon, comments: “We are delighted to be launching ‘Autism: In conversation with auticon’ with Carrie at the helm. Autistic people often possess a huge wealth of skills and talents, such as formidable cognitive ability. Yet, research tells us that all too often autistic people are disproportionately more likely to be unemployed, or underemployed. By having some great conversations with a range of fantastic, diverse and opinionated guests, we are hoping to shine a light on what it means to be autistic today and ultimately drive positive perceptions of autism.”

 

Daniel M Jones, an international best-selling author and video influencer with an award winning YouTube channel The Aspie World (the biggest YouTube channel dedicated to autism from an autistic person in the world) features on the podcast. He says, “There still aren’t enough voices out there talking about autism, especially when it comes to autism in the workplace. This new podcast from auticon covers some really interesting topics which will hopefully help people understand each other better, which is such an important and positive step. I am passionate about advocating for autism and I’m so proud be involved in this project to help continue to do that.”

 

Autistic speaker, consultant and social media content creator, who appears on ‘Autism: In conversation with auticon’ concludes,For me, being autistic means having a brain that focuses on the detail first (and enjoys the detail) before building out to the bigger picture. This is the opposite to a neurotypical person will look at the big picture first and work their way into the detail. There are so many myths that surround autism and so I’m really pleased to have been part of auticon’s podcast to help breakdown some of those misconceptions. I hope this will help pave the way for more autistic people being able to find fulfilling employment in an environment that is supportive and inclusive. Ultimately, where I would like things to get to is for employers to see that all employees have needs, regardless of whether the employee is neurodivergent or not. It’s not about treating people equally to be inclusive, it’s about employers treating employees in such a way that no one needs to feel disadvantaged because of their personal needs.”

 

For more information visit www.auticon.co.uk

[1] Research was carried out by OnePoll between 11.08.2021 – 24.08.2021 and surveyed 200 employed UK adults who have a diagnosis of autism.

Notes to editors:

For more information, interview requests, additional case studies or images, please contact Kristy MacLeod: kristy.macleod@auticon.co.uk / 07778 842274

About auticon

auticon is a unique social enterprise which employs autistic adults as IT consultants. It provides an advisory service to clients to support them with the recruitment and onboarding of new candidates, as well as the retention of current employees who are on the autism spectrum. Each client and consultant are also uniquely provided with their own auticon job coach, on-hand to offer ongoing specialist support. auticon has been cited as one of Richard Branson’s top 3 companies he most admires.

Additional quote:

Ella Tabb, also known as social media content creator, ‘Purple Ella’ who appears on episode 1 of ‘Autism: In conversation with auticon’ says, “Unfortunately, we still often see disability from a deficit point of view rather than a strengths perspective. There have been times in the past when it would have been helpful for me to disclose that I am autistic and ask for support, but I didn’t for fear of being ‘needy’ or somehow less employable. Now I find disclosing that I am autistic relatively easy, because I’m confident in knowing that by asking for a little bit of help and additional support, that I can offer so much more to that employer, but it is hard to advocate for yourself to be able to do that.”

Additional survey results:

The research identified some of the biggest challenges autistic talent face in their working lives, including:

  • Worries about how to communicate mental health decline to management (49%), which was exceptionally high in younger autistic workers – 62% in age 18-30 vs 49% overall
  • Preferred learning style not being followed e.g. being given text heavy documents, when pictorial information is easier (48%).
  • Being given too much information at once (43%)
  • Feeling the need to hide their autism (42%)
  • Processes and procedures not being followed (40%)
  • Lack of clear instructions or outcomes (39%)
  • Last minute meetings/calls (39%)
  • Bright lighting (36%)
  • Open plan office (35%)
  • Having to navigate workplace small talk (35%)

 

Survey respondents identified the most helpful things for autistic employees as being:

  • Having clearly defined instructions – 51% (77% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Appropriate software and equipment e.g. speech to text; screen filters; multiple monitors – 50% (72% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Flexible and adjusted hours i.e. start/finish time is later or earlier depending on preference – 49% (76% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Having a preferred desk in a suitable location – 47% (72% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Option to wear earplugs/noise-cancelling headphones – 44% (70% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Being able to use stimming items during work – 43% (74% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Being able to take regular comfort breaks – 42% (77% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Having a workplace buddy or mentor – 41% (71% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Option to work from home – 29% (69% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)
  • Option to turn camera off during video meetings – 29% (73% say this is either happening or in the process of happening)

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