Celebrating Neurodiversity – Awards Dinner and Conference
27th & 28th June 2019

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This year Genius Within is hosting two new events – an awards dinner and neurodiversity conference, to celebrate the strengths of neurodiversity.

All proceeds raised will be donated to Tourettes Action, as Tourettes has the same prevalence as Autism but only 1% of the funding.

Announcing the Inaugural Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards!
27th June 2019 at Warwick Racecourse

We’re delighted to see the rise in profile for neurodiversity over the past decade, and the growing awareness of strengths and talents that neurodiverse people add to our communities. We’d like to take a moment to reflect and celebrate, and encourage more awareness of strength.

We are calling for nominations for the following awards:

Nominations of 500 words maximum should be submitted to awards@geniuswithin.co.uk by 31st May 2019

Winners will be offered a free ticket for the awards dinner, tickets are £90*   

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*plus booking fee

Celebrating Neurodiversity Conference
28th June 2019

Please join us for an exciting and informative day of neurodiversity focused keynote speeches and workshops, alongside demonstrations of assistive technology.

Confirmed speakers include:

Steve Silberman, Judy Singer, Professor Amanda Kirby, Dr Nancy Doyle, Neil Miliken, Clare Cherry, Paul Stevenson, John Levell, Holly Ferguson, James Lawley and Roxanne Hobbs.

See below for more details on each speaker.

Conference Tickets are just £175* 

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*plus booking fee

Warwick Racecourse

Hampton Street


CV34 6HN

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9am-10am Registration

10am Opening Key Note: 

What is Neurodiversity? Neurodivergence? Neurodevelopmental Conditions? Neurodifference?
Steve Silberman

10.30 World Café 

This opening session is a live, dialectic exchange between the leading thinkers, authors, campaigners and policy influencers in the world of neurodiversity.  We will respectfully debate the evolving terminology and narratives, trying to understand and make meaning of how the different language affects public and stakeholder perception.

We’ve moved on a lot since the 90’s, when the medical, deficit model defined our experience and support systems.  What’s coming next?  Now that we’ve brought awareness of strengths into the public consciousness, where should we be going with how to talk about, diagnose and include people fall under this umbrella group?

Panel – Amanda Kirby, John Levell, Judy Singer, Nancy Doyle, Paul Stevenson

After the opening debate, all conference attendees will take part in a ‘world café forum’, which is a technique for listening and aggregating ideas with a large group.  You’ll be invited to contribute your thoughts and preferences around the way we talk about neurodiversity.

These will be collated and presented back in the afternoon, along with the panel discussing how we can influence the institutions who ‘make the rules’ on diagnosis and reasonable adjustments.

11.30 Break Out Sessions 1 – 3

Break Out Session 1: Intro to “Clean Language”

James Lawley, world class Coach, Coach Training and Researcher, presents an introduction to Clean Language Coaching as a dynamic technique for exploring theory of mind, respectful listening and empowering clients.

Break Out Session 2: Overlapping symptoms and misdiagnosis – what are we going to do about it?

Amanda Kirby, leading researcher, activist and entrepreneur presents the scientific evidence behind co-occurrence and misdiagnosis of symptoms in neurodiversity.

 Break Out Session 3: Reading is a transition technology?

Neil Milliken, Chief Accessibility Officer for ATOS, professional dyslexic and founder of AXSChat one of the busiest Twitter chat forums on Assistive Technology World Wide will present and lead a discussion on how technology is going to transform inclusion over the next decade.

12.30 Lunch and World Café

13.30 Key Note: Not what you expect

Holly Ferguson, Broadway Producer, will be interviewed by Roxanne Hobbs about the journey from rural America to the top of her career in the creative industry without ‘following the well-trodden path’.

14.00 Break Out Sessions 4 – 6

Break Out Session 4: For you personally, what’s working well in Neurodiversity?

Open Session: Experiences of neurodiverse/divergent/different/ adults/allies – a listening and sharing session for people who have lived experience, celebrating success, breaking down barriers, examples of excellence in systemic inclusion.

  Break Out Session 5: Neurodiversity and Employability – progress on social inclusion

Clare Cherry, award winning entrepreneur of the Social Enterprise “Work this Way” presents on how the neurodiversity movement has influenced and improved services for people who are long term unemployed and incarcerate – Employability Day celebration! #EmpDay2019

 Break Out Session 6: Making an impact – the research and practice infinity loop

Nancy Doyle, Policy Impact winner 2018 for the Division of Occupational Psychology presents the need for evidence based practice and practice informed research in the neurodiversity field.  How can practitioners do more to develop the body of work that we use to drive policy changes at the systemic level?  How can researchers connect into what practitioners are doing to evaluate and analyse practice?

 15.15  – 60 min interactive discussion 

Feedback from the morning session on emerging narratives

Followed by comments from the panel on:
– Influencing diagnosis
– Influencing inclusion policy
– Reducing the disability employment gap for neurodiverse people

Questions to the panel from the audience.

16.15 Conference close

with invitations to international guests to comment on observations of Neurodiversity in the UK

16.30 Networking drinks

Cake! Prosseco!

Please email events@geniuswithin.co.uk with any queries

All proceeds for this event will go to Tourettes Action



Confirmed Speakers

Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and many other publications. He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, which Oliver Sacks called a “sweeping and penetrating history…presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.” The book became a widely-praised bestseller in the United States and the United Kingdom, and won the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction. It was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2015 by The New York Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Boston Globe, The Independent, and many other publications. His TED talk, “The Forgotten History of Autism,” has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 35 languages. He lives with his husband Keith in San Francisco.

Judy Singer

Judy Singer is an Australian sociologist. She is recognized as being instrumental in the development of a the concept of Neurodiversity as an honours student at the University of Technol­ogy Sydney in 1997-8.

Her study was the first sociological work to inquire into the social context of the emergence of a new kind of disability, the “Autistic Spectrum”. In her work, Judy anticipated the emergence of “Politics of Neurodiversity”. Her research was based on her experiences “in the middle of 3 generations of women somewhere on the ‘Spec­trum’”, and on her membership of early online Asperger egroups as a participant observer. Being unable to get recognition for her work in Australia, Judy abandoned academia and put her ener­gies into grassroots organising around her family’s support needs.

Online, she founded the world’s first support group for the (adult) children of autistic parents. In Syd­ney, Judy co-founded ASteen, Sydney’s only family-run social club for Asperger teenagers, and devoted herself to advocacy for public housing and social security rights.

Her original thesis Neurodiversity: the birth of an idea is republished at


Professor Amanda Kirby

Amanda is determined to raise awareness of Neurodiversity and to showcase the of individ­uals and maximise their talents.

She wears several hats :she has personal reasons for her passion as a parent of neurodiverse children; a professional interest and has a chair in developmen­tal disorders at University of South Wales. She has a clinical interest as a GP alongside founding The Dy­scovery Centre, a specialist centre for children and adults with developmental disorders, in 1997.

Amanda is also the CEO of DO-IT Solutions (www. doitprofiler.com) and has developed a computer modular screening and assessment system using a bio-psychosocial model. This supports those who are neurodiverse to showcase their talents, and minimise any challenges, helping organisations such as apprenticeship providers, employment organi­sations and prisons have better and more informed conversations.

She also is the chair of the UK umbrella organisation for movement difficulties (www.movementmatters. uk.org). She sat on the Hidden Impairment National Group and helped develop the site www.neurodi­versityemployment.org. She was also on the Autism Strategy Group for DWP.

Amanda’s has published 8 books in the field of neu­rodiversity, which have been translated into many languages and has many peer reviewed papers in the field and is active on Linkedin with more than 25,000 followers regularly posting her Neurodiversity101 series.

Dr Nancy Doyle

Dr Nancy Doyle is an occupational psychologist with a lifelong passion for improving awareness of, treatment for and celebration of neurodiversity.

Nancy’s work spans two decades, developing coaching, training and assessment protocols to facilitate neurodiverse people to achieve their full potential in life and work.

Nancy co-founded Genius Within, a social enterprise, in 2011. Genius Within now provides assistance to around 5000 people a year and over 1000 businesses.

Nancy’s work on Employable Me, the BBC2 documentary, has worldwide reach and has contributed to the developing high profile of neurodiverse talents.

Nancy was diagnosed with ADHD only 4 years ago and was voted number 10 in the Shaw Trust Power 100 list for the most influential people with a disability.

Clare Cherry

Clare is the Coaching Manager at Genius Within CIC. With 25 years of experience working at national, regional, and community levels in the criminal justice and training sectors Clare delivered outcomes effectively in the charity, business and public sectors. In 2007 Clare founded a multi award winning social enterprise business Work This Way to provide industry led training, work experience and employment for ex-offenders.

Clare has been involved in designing and delivering adult education and lifelong learning throughout her career and has continued to engage in learning herself most recently gaining an ILM L5 in Business Coaching and Mentoring.


Paul Stevenson

Paul is a 56 yr old married father of four young children and an award winning photographer, who has late onset Full Blown Tourette Syndrome plus, which started out of the blue 10 years ago.  Paul has severe motor Tic’s and vocal tic’s inc coprolalia (swearing & cursing ) accompanied with ADHD,OCD, Sensory processing disorder. He struggles being out in a social situation, basically anywhere out in public. He has found that he gets some respite and great fulfilment through helping others from using this unique position by raising awareness.  Paul brings empathy and solidarity to many young people who are struggling with diagnosis through public speaking, TV and radio, which also raises awareness, increases acceptance and reduces discrimination. Paul’s many media projects include: the National geographic Taboo series, BBC Employable Me, Swedish Kanal 5 docu outsiders Tourettes, BBC Teenage Tic’s. BBC Radio 5 live and Northeast also.

John Levell

Photo and more info to follow.

Holly Ferguson

Photo and more info to follow.

James Lawley

James Lawley

James Lawley is a psychotherapist and independent researcher. He is a leading authority on Clean Language, autogenic metaphor and is a co-developer of Symbolic Modelling. He has co-authored two books, Metaphors in Mind (2000) and Insights in Space (2017), nine academic research articles, and over 200 other articles and blogs all available at cleanlanguage.co.uk.



Roxanne Hobbs

Roxanne HobbsRoxanne is the founder of The Hobbs Consultancy, and is passionate about creating a culture in which people feel able to show up as themselves, where diversity of thought is valued and where people are cherished. She champions inclusivity and the steps we each can take to be inclusive leaders in our own lives.  In March 2017, her eldest son was diagnosed with ASC and she is now heavily involved in creating and sustaining a conversation about Neurodiversity in the advertising industry. Her book ‘Diverted’ was published on 1st March, 2018. She is a professional co-active coach, a certified Dare to Lead facilitator and holds a diploma of applied NLP in autism coaching.

“We have to welcome, accommodate and support a wider range of ‘normal’, and only then will we benefit from the extraordinary difference these diverse minds can bring”

Celebrating Neurodiversity – Awards Dinner and Conference
27th & 28th June 2019

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