Senior UX Designer & BBC Neurodiversity Lead
I was fortunate enough to find good schools and access the right support which enabled me to earn a degree from Durham University and go on to complete my post grad at LSE. I was able to study in a way that worked to my strengths and I had time to develop and understand my skillsets, so I was a lot more confident in my ability as I started my journey into employment.
I found that employers didn’t really understand or know how to support Neurodiversity, which meant I often struggled to fit in. I had almost given up on employment and like most Neurodivergent people I was considering self-employment, while contemplating this, I focused my energies on volunteer work for charities and my creative endeavours.
All this thought changed after I was successful in getting a trainee placement at the BBC. Now I run BBC CAPE (Creating a Positive Environment), the organisation’s Neurodiversity initiative, which promotes understanding of and appreciation for Neurodiversity at the BBC. Through CAPE, I have produced films and events that helped to explain what it is to be Neurodivergent.
I’m most proud of acquiring an Autism Access Award for the BBC, from the National Autistic Society and that I developed to improve acceptance and understanding of Neurodiversity. We were the first broadcaster to achieve this award, which was quite an achievement and really helped to establish BBC CAPE.
Since then, I have gone on to advise on several reports regarding Neurodiversity in employment, including the APPG Westminster AcheiveAbility report and have had the privilege to be invited to talk about my work for CAPE at events internationally.
If I could offer advice to give that would be to build a good inclusive network, find those superheroes who you can really trust, but also trust in yourself. Find your ways and methods for maintaining your energy and/or recharging your energy. Pass the beacon down and share with others what you have learned. Inspire kindness, authenticity and believe in yourself no matter what the obstacles. Find and follow your passions wherever and however possible – they are a part of your many superpowers and you will be successful in any endeavour you put your mind to.