There is value in every mind.
Neurodiversity is often seen as a “hidden” disability and thereby viewed through a deficit-based lens where an individual’s differences may be considered barriers to gainful employment. Even employers who are looking to create a more inclusive workforce may not know how to accommodate a neurodiverse employee. In order to bridge this employment gap, a paradigm shift needs to be made. A shift that focuses on the strengths of each neurodiverse employee.
“If I didn’t have my work, I would not have my life”. Dr. Temple Grandin.
Case Study Blue Star Recyclers
The neurodiverse population remains a largely untapped talent pool with some unemployment/underemployment rates estimated as high as 90%. Certainly change needs to start by educating employers and rethinking recruiting, hiring, and personal development procedures.
One of our partner companies has experienced an array of benefits from finding and hiring good and even great talent in tough-to-fill jobs at its electronics recycling plants in Denver and Colorado Springs. Though its business metrics are impressive, what is even more striking is the effect that employment has had on the employees: a marked decrease in need for medication, complete disappearance of seizures, use of verbal language to communicate when there was none prior, and increased social interaction and sense of place in society.
This lends itself to the conclusion that the high unemployment rate among the neurodivergent population is not caused by lack of ability, it is caused by a lack of opportunity. We understand the incredible value that external partnerships can offer. As such we are currently working closely with other academic institutions in the areas of programming and research and development. These partnerships allow for vital fieldwork and one of a kind research and programming that will bring about greater understanding and appreciation of neurodiversity.