With nominations now open for the 2023 Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards, we wanted to take a look back at our 2022 winners and even hear from a few of them about what receiving the award meant to them.
This category is always a really tough one for the judges as the ND community if absolutely full of people who love to smash a stereotype! In 2022 our runner up was Hannah Crowley was a young girl from Dublin who was challenging perceptions of what it means to be Autistic, dyslexic and dyspraxic by exceling as part of her local division one football team. Our winner was Marie Hanson MBE. Marie is the founder of S.T.O.R.M. family centre (Support, Trust, Opportunity , Re-building, Motivation) an organisation that helps single mothers, women escaping abuse and young people who are trying to move away from crime. She said “winning the neurodiversity award meant so much to me, it meant so much to my organisation, because now I can literally with my open mind say I’m dyslexic without feeling ashamed. It’s made me more confident.”
We had joint winners for the Inclusion Project category last year meaning the judges simply could not make a decision between the two. The Balfour Beatty building is a staff compound in Alford designed to be disability and neuroinclusive, thus creating a model for the engineering industry. The Babcock neurodiversity network is an employee resource group at Babcock International aimed at connecting neurodivergent employees and promoting acceptance and inclusion throughout the company. Both excellent projects showing others how progress can be achieved!
Our runner up in this category was Luke Manton, an entrepreneur and social media advocate with Tourette Syndrome. Luke founded his virtual PA company Manton Executives almost three years ago now and in addition to being a mega busy business owner he also makes time to educate others about TS through public speaking and content creation. Our category winner was Onyinye Udokporo. Onyinye founded Enrich Learning five years ago, using her own lived experience as a dyslexic to support others through online tutoring. She has also written a book ‘Dyslexia and Me’ to share her experiences with a wider audience. We recommend giving them both a follow on social media!
This category seeks to promote innovative new ways to make the world more neuroinclusive through technology and our 2022 winner, the Tiimo app is doing just that. The Tiimo app is designed specifically for neurodivergent minds, especially those that struggle with executive function. This app helps individuals to organise their lives, stick to routines and achieve personal goals. It will even remind you if you forget to check it!
At Genius Within we know better than most the importance of Inclusive Employers and we want to take the time to celebrate those who are getting it right. The 2022 runner up was Capco, Capco is a global technology and management consulting firm focused exclusively on the financial services and energy industries. Through their employee affinity group they have made huge steps to become neuroinclusive such as reworking their recruitment process, making assessments and guidance available and constantly working to improve their reasonable adjustments. Our winners in this category were Shropshire Fire & Rescue who were nominated by their neurodivergent team members for the many things they do to be inclusive and remove barriers for all. This included a ‘Voices’ group for people who felt under-represented, and implementing changes at a company wide level to ensure processes worked for everyone. We loved hearing how supported and empowered their employees felt.
The research award seeks to celebrate research being done with the aim of actively improving the lives of neurominorities. In our community research can be a controversial topic so it is all the more important to us that we recognise those doing excellent work. In 2022 our winner was Astle Lab at University of Cambridge. The purpose of their research has been to understand the co-occurrence of ND neurotypes and how they are functionally similar at the everyday task level. Duncan Astle said “I was thrilled to be nominated for Celebrating Neurodiversity Award, let alone to win one! Neurodivergent people are sometimes poorly served by the scientific community, so a neurodiversity award for our research felt incredibly special.”
Inclusive Education Provider
Education can be a minefield for neurodivergent people so we love to celebrate the teachers and facilities out there going the extra mile to be neuroinclusive. Our runner up in 2022 was Kerrie White from the Goodwin Development Trust who received multiple nominations and is clearly a much-loved teacher who embraces and celebrates difference! The winners were AUsome Training, an Autistic-led education platform that provides excellent and affordable resources to parents and teachers about understanding and accepting Autistic young people. They are giving guidance that will make a powerful change in the lives of young Autistic people and their families.
Well done to all, thank you for making the 2022 awards so special!
Nominations for 2023 are now open
if you can think of an individual, organisation or project that you would like to see recognised for their hard work or has been breaking those stereotypes you can nominate them now. Nominations close on Friday 23rd June at 11:59pm.