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Episodes

Episode 11: A Future Vision for Neurodivergent Work and Education

Guest: Nanette Mellor, Former CEO, Drake Music, The Brain Chaity

I spoke with Nanette Mellor, a disability and neurodiversity specialist, most recently working as a CEO of Drake Music, about their work championing neurodivergent strengths.Our conversation touches on how neurodivergent differences might be better understood and catered to in education; what diagnosis might look like in the future; and whether some of the skills historically considered essential are as crucial in the 21st century.

We also spoke about the impact of AI for neurodivergent people in the workplace, how common neurodivergent strengths like creative thinking and becoming more valued, and about Nanettes own journey through employment, the challenges and strengths of being dyslexic, and how challenging convention can lead to resistance even in leadership positions.

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Episode 10: Understanding Load Theory & Perceptual Capacity Can Help You Work

Guest: Anna Remington, Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education

I spoke with notable autism researcher Professor Anna Remington, Director of CRAE at UCL, about the notion of 'perceptual capacity'.

The discussion covered what perceptual capacity is, its significance to neurodivergent people (spoiler: many autistic people have a high perceptual capacity), and how understanding and working with one's perceptual capacity can help improve effectiveness and mitigate challenges associated with increased sensory sensitivities.

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Episode 9: Becoming an Autistic Entrepreneur with Cogs AI's CEO, Zareen Ali

Guest: Zareen Ali, CEO, Cogs AI

Zareen Ali, CEO of Cogs AI founded the company to create a non-pathologising mindfulness app specifically designed to support neurodivergent people.

In our conversation, we spoke about the experiences that led Zareen to create the app and how she balances some of the expectations of leading a company with some of the common challenges experienced by neurodivergent people. We also discussed how Zareen has approached creating an inclusive work culture at Cogs and what advice she would offer others who are looking to create their own business.

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Episode 8: Dani ‘The Punk Rock Autistic’ on Creating Employment That Works for Them

Guest: Dani Noreen, Neurodiversity Unbound

Dani ‘The Punk Rock Autistic’ on Creating Employment That Works for Them For episode 8 of Working to Work I spoke with Dani Noreen (aka the Punk Rock Autistic) about their journey towards creating a work life that works for them, including the development of their business ‘Neurodiversity Unbound’.

Dani spoke about what wasn’t working for them in previous work, and prioritising openness about needs and preferences benefits them and those they work with.

We also spoke about working through self doubt, and the varying challenges of taking less conventional, and more bespoke approaches to employment.

For more on Dani’s work visit: https://neurodiversityunbound.com/

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Episode 7: The BBC Radio Neurodiversity Phone-In

Guest: Dotun Adebayo, BBC Radio 5-Live callers

I had the opportunity to join the brilliant broadcaster Dotun Adebayo on his late-night BBC Radio 5 Live programme 'Up All Night' for a special phone-in dedicated to all things neurodiversity. This programme was an opportunity for listeners to share their experiences of neurodiversity, be it their own experiences or related to those close to them.

For this episode of Working to Work, I collected excerpts from that programme that pertain to employment but also a range of other experiences of neurological difference - its manifestation and its reception in past, present, and potentially future societies. I

t was also an opportunity to speak with Dotun about my own experiences and perspectives that I hope were of interest to listeners of the programme and will be to viewers of this episode.

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Episode 6: Learning From Experience: Career Advisor Stephanie Ozuo

Guest: Stephanie Ozuo, Neurodivergent Career Advisor

A substantive conversation with Stephanie Ozuo, a Careers Advisor and founder 'Cover My CV', who uses her lived experience of ADHD to support fellow neurodivergent individuals obtain and maintain gratifying employment.

In this episode we discussed: the purpose of CVs and cover letters; transferable skills; seeking mission-based work aligned with goals; the benefits of affirming employee strenghts; neurodivergence intersecting with other identities, and more.

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Episode 5: Is the Audio Industry Ready for Neurodivergent Talent? Autistic Producer Robin Blamires' Journey

Guest: Robin Blamires, Audio Producer

In this insightful conversation, I spoke with Robin Blamires, a talented and passionate autistic audio producer, about his journey from student radio to the challenges faced in finding fulfilling work, as documented in his new piece 'The Audio Rainbow'.

We explore some of the intricacies of the audio industry, discuss the barriers faced by neurodivergent individuals, sensory challenges, and the quest for inclusive spaces. Listen to hear Robin's unique perspective, the support he's found, and the aspirations driving him to create both compelling audio, and a more accessible audio world.

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Episode 4: Listening to Neurodivergent Workers: What Can Managers Learn?

Guest: Alex Genadinik, Author and Coach

The tables are turned in this episode as I'm interviewed by my friend, author, and coach, Alex Genadinik.

We discuss the benefits of learning about Neurodiversity for my mental health and self-acceptance, my experiences in employment as a neurodivergent worker, and what advice I would offer to managers and colleagues to create an accessible, inclusive, and fair dynamic with neurodivergent employees, like myself.

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Episode 3: Can Autistica's Neurodiversity Employers Index Bridge the Neurodivergent Employment Gap?

Guest: James Cusack, Autistic, CEO

I spoke with James Cusack, Chief Executive of the UK's leading Autism research and campaigning charity, Autistica. Topics covered include the ambitious (and necessary) goals to double the Autistic employment rate by 2030, and specifically how Autistica's 'Neurodiversity Employers Index' (NDEI) can help achieve this.

We also discussed the impact of early life on employment experiences, creating a culture of meeting needs, and my reflections on my own employment path. Click 'more' to see chapters.

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Episode 2: What Does a Job Coach for Autistic People Do? With Leo Capella From the National Autistic Society

Guest: Leo Capella, Coach at National Autistic Society

How does a Job Coach support autistic people to obtain and maintain employment? In this episode Sam speaks with Leo Capella, a job coach at the National Autistic Society to find out what the job involves, and how it is helping to bridge the gap between those seeking neurodivergent talent and those looking for gratifying work.

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Episode 1: Will the Government’s Autism Review Transform Neurodivergent Employment? With Sir Robert Buckland

Guest: Sir Robert Buckland MP,
Lead of Government Review into Autistic Employment

I spoke with Sir Robert Buckland, the MP leading the UK Government's 2023 review into Autism Employment to learn what the review hopes to achieve, how it will go about it, and why it's important.

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