Ultra nuts. Okay, moving along, and now I'd like to welcome her rich big mouth.
Unknown Speaker 1:49:04
Hi, everybody. And it's truly be truly an honor to be here with all of you, and especially the panel and many thanks to Dr. Fung and his team for this incredible summit. And they exchange of ideas, and the knowledge that going on here can truly make a difference, and could be the accelerator for the future of individuals. Now I am the founder and CEO of Genevieve. This zinoviev is a social for profit, social enterprise and works a little different from most of the organizations I've seen so far here. What we do is we collaborate with organizations large and small, to promote the artistic talent of individuals, and then share the profits with artists and these organizations small and large. benefit in many different ways. And I'll go through that in a second. And the artists, which is the main focus for us, earn 66% of the profits and recognition by improving their self esteem, and building hope for a better future. The reason we even started Genevieve was a personal one. My wife and I are blessed with a son with a diagnosis of classic autism. Today at the age of 19, he's like a five year old in many aspects. However, with years of hard work, he has learned to paint and loves doing it. Four years ago, when he saw his painting displayed at a local business, the smile on his face was just priceless for us as parents. Importantly, we noticed he grew with confidence. And I think that kind of recognition that we got, you know, helped him truly motivated him to do more art, and learn new things. And several businesses and families in the area we live purchase this art. And these two developments gave us a row of ray of hope for his future. We started surveys to primarily bring a similar boost of self esteem and hope to other individuals and their families, irrespective of any level of supports they need. Rather than be constantly stressed, the individuals and families should be proud of their strengths. That's the main genesis for centers. And we are fortunate to partner with several small and large organizations, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, four seasons, hotels, Johns Hopkins, etc. We're enjoying the art while supporting our artists who are experiencing a great boost to their confidence, and as well as feeling motivated to move ahead. So we again, we partner with various organizations in you know, in making this difference for us. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 1:52:28
Thank you, hareesh. And some of the slides that you see during the breaks, it's coming from Parrish. And now I'd like to welcome bill Morris.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 1:52:45
Would you like me to upload the slide or were you have one on that in there? Please go ahead and start and I will load your slide. Okay, when Terrell
Unknown Speaker 1:52:59
here he got it, my apologies for not getting that in. Thank you, Dr. Fire and everyone on the team. As Mark mentioned, blue star is a little bit of a unexpected discovery. In 2008, I came across it a small group of young men at a day program center in Colorado Springs who were diagnosed on the spectrum they were engaged in a unpaid work task to take apart computers and some other electronics that had been well that's one of the slides that says presenting over in Scotland. But anyway, we we had a sort of a at that moment we realized that there was some talents some real marketable talent in the work that they were doing and and they had an affinity and some innate skills for the tasks yet they hadn't been formally trained. And again, I I felt that the skills were marketable and and all these folks had been had come out of the the school system that aged out of their their transitions programs, and we're coming to a day program that quite honestly would not be a place that I would want to go when I was that age. So over the summer of 2008 we we built an enclave and employment enclave to test the the hunch that the skills were marketable and created a partnership with a recycler to take apart computers. And we started with four and they were paid minimum wage, and we did that for a year and and they thrived in every aspect of their life. They thrive physically, emotionally, mentally. When you have a purpose to get up in the morning is everyone on this call knows. There's something that Magical that happens and we're off and running. So in November of 2009, we've we founded Blue Star recyclers as a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission of recycling electronics to create real jobs, meaningful employment for people with autism and other disabilities. Maybe the biggest surprise in in our 12 years has been the actual performance of the workforce in relationship, not so much the the affinity for the work, but the performance as just employees in 10 years, and this is between 2010 and 2019. We had zero absenteeism, less than 10% annual turnover, and less than one average last time accident. And if you know anything about electronics recycling, the those statistics are mind blowing, because our industry is on the highest end of almost every one of those. And lastly, on that the we had a third party researcher come in and sit with our team for three months in 2014. and measure the on task engagement while they're on the clock, our production team scored 98.43% task engaged on the clock, which is over twice that of the average American employee doing the same kind of work. So we knew we were onto something, then that this is not a workforce that that was as good as this is a workforce when their assets are tied to the work tasks are superior to traditional workers. So so the the main thing that that that really propelled us forward in terms of growth, because we've grown to five locations in the US, we have 15 partners around the world that have replicated our model. And we've been growing by about 30% annually in an industry by the way that has been shrinking by about 30% annually. And the only common thread to our growth is our workforce. So when you have 50 I think we have 51 employees now who show up to work every day, get their work done, and don't get hurt. And don't goof off and don't miss work, you can compete in a very competitive industry, which ours is and you can grow. We've been very fortunate to have significant social, environmental and economic impact. So we hit on all three of those triple bottom line front. Two years ago, the Colorado Institute for Social Impact,
Unknown Speaker 1:57:53
did a study to track our social return on investment, which is essentially, taxpayer savings that occur when you employ a person with a disability that's eligible for benefits. The average Blue Star employee saves the taxpayer $49,000 annually. So since our founding, we've produced $16.2 million in social return on investment, we've earned about the same amount just under 16 million in earned income. So the benefit to the community is for every dollar they spend with blue star, we produce about 250 in return on investment to the community. So this isn't, this moves the whole concept of employment for people on the autism spectrum or people with disabilities out of the realm of philanthropy, or even piti This is we've proven that this is just good business, to get the people who enjoy the work, who are good at the work and who want to do the work to show up every day is really the sky's the limit. So while it might sound strange, our long term goal at Blue Star recyclers is to become completely unnecessary. I want it to be when any person who can work and who wants to work has at least one employer in their community that will hire them because of what's right with them, not because of their diagnosis. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 1:59:24
Thank you, Bill. And now Dr. Fun will conduct a questions for the panelists.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 1:59:34
Thank you so much for all your work in your organization's It is truly remarkable that all of you are doing what you're doing the next few minutes 20 minutes or so we're going to have some questions. And the first is going to go to her rich. Can you tell us why you started your program a little bit more You, you started talking about that, when you introduce yourself?
Unknown Speaker 2:00:07
Sure, Dr. Fung as I mentioned earlier, we found a lot of change in my son in terms of his confidence in terms of his motivation. And in terms of his, you know, eagerness to learn more. So what we did was we, I just tried it with a couple more actors doing the same, and the pagans reported the same. And on the other side, this talent of these individuals, and the change was one side, but other side, businesses reported significant benefits, right? They there's a huge change in their workplace culture, there was a deep understanding of the typical employees there, about the neural, typically neural, you know, minority individuals changed big time, right, they understood them better. They know that there was acceptance, there was respect for these individuals. So the organization started becoming, you know, benefiting on one side, and individuals who are benefiting on the other. So wanted to bring this together. So that, you know, hopefully, we can change lives of many, many, many individuals also inspire many generations to come. microphone, you're muted.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:01:46
Thank you. So the same question for Bill. Why did you start the program? You started talking about this a little bit earlier, when you introduce yourself, but before for those people that are starting? What are employers wanting to think about starting a program that include neuro diverse individuals? What do you think the right intention should be? To start this program?
Unknown Speaker 2:02:15
It's a very, very good question. And I don't know that I know what's right for everyone else. But I know that for myself, the It's been said that most social enterprises are, are founded with empathy. Empathy is the core behind it, the center of why we do what we do. And as I mentioned, when I experienced this talents, when I was observing the talents of these young men, and and realizing that they were stuck in a, in a day program in a place that was not conducive for that would bear out their talents. I wanted to do something and and here's something that's a little indicting on the on the disability services sector, when I asked the staff in that place, because these young men had been doing this task for a couple of years. And I asked them, I said, Did you did, didn't you notice how good they were at this. And two of the staff members essentially said, I'm paid to generate case notes and provide services, I'm not paid to recognize talent. And that's when I realized that that so many of the people that that with autism and other disabilities, they end up in day programs being served. There's no one there really to, to see what what's right with them to see what they can do if they're given the opportunity to bluestar was formed with that in mind, which is that we wanted to provide a place where they could find they could identify their assets and develop them into it really leverage the talent they've been given. So I think if that's the motivation at which I think it is for everyone on this panel to do what they're doing, I don't I all I know is that motivation worked for us and it should work for other people as well.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:04:16
Thank you. So, the next question is going to Rebecca. So what what are some of the benefits of neuro diversity programs, such as your organization, your organization is rather unique in that it started off with people on the spectrum in mind. So most employees are on the spectrum. So, there are also others that are in the company that are neurotypical. So what are some of the benefits for them? What can you say a few words to that
Unknown Speaker 2:05:00
Absolutely Thank you, Lawrence. Um, so I mean, I find that any company will benefit from employing individuals on the autism spectrum. You know, we have experienced within our organization, the gifts of having a diverse way of thinking through technology, problems and solving those problems. We have benefited from having not only neurotypical employees, but also our autistic employees. However, most of our employees are on the spectrum. And we strive every day to work with organizations to understand those benefits and to integrate individuals on the spectrum within their workforces. We feel that, you know, if you put an individual in, that has a diverse way of thinking and a different way of problem solving, you really are going to become an innovative technology department. And we you, you know, we believe in the cognitive strengths of our employees. And we support them through our job coaches, and we support our clients through our job coaches, we believe that education in environments is the most important part is educating individuals about the benefits. And also identifying the proper accommodations to ensure success. I'm working at audit con has been one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had in my entire career. Because the individuals I get to work with every single day bring a different way of thinking and a true desire to solve problems to work hard. They love what they're doing, and appreciate the work that is coming their way. We also find that our employees want different challenges. So we work very, very hard to provide that and to also continuous do continuous training, so that we're not just providing jobs, we're developing careers.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:07:18
That's really wonderful to think about it is really the trajectory that getting the job is really just a an outcome at one time. But it's really the the future that trajectory that matters. Thank you, Rebecca and Harish your organization has been working with other organizations, what do you think some of you the work that you're doing, is really giving benefits for donations that you are working with?
Unknown Speaker 2:07:55
Dr. Phil, thank you. You know, as we all know, many individuals have a lot of visual and artistic strengths. We are generally firmly believed that these trends, especially the artistic strengths, can be used in bold and new ways to help companies build a strong workplace culture, while significantly improving the lives of the individuals and their families. So from a benefits perspective, we look at two different, you know, we look at two areas, are we about are we making a difference? The first one, obviously is are we making an impact? Are we having an impact on the artists and families. Thankfully, and gratefully they have reported that the recognition and the income that they are getting from these organizations, however small it is, at this time, has boosted their self confidence, self esteem, and more importantly, developed a sense of community and a sense of belonging to the society at this time, because of this recognition. And on the other hand, we'll look at are we helping the clients be better than whatever? The answer is a clear Yes. Again, you know, thankful to these organizations for partnering with us in making not only changing the lives of the individuals, but also benefit from us. And the benefit they tell us is that their workplace culture has become more welcoming of people with disabilities. And especially, you know, other neuro minorities such as autism. And we are we have also noticed is that many people on the spectrum and other neurodiverse conditions that these employees have come out in the open and they've identified themselves as such, and the pagan who have worked there who were working there, you know, who worked there in the past never die whilst about their children or grandchildren have come up in the open and joining their, you know, er G's and brgs. To help with this. We are a small organizations. And what we see is, it is a beginning. And these are the baby steps at this time. However, these positive changes are happening at these enterprises. In you know, in welcoming these individuals, and at least at a few places, I think collectively, we can accelerate it for a better future for our kids and individuals.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:10:43
So the next question is going to Nish, you're in your company you have hired neuro diverse individuals. And you have also because of the nature of the work that your company's doing, you work with many other companies that have newer diversity hiring programs, or autism at work programs. Can you tell us a little bit about what are some of the general challenges that you are observing?
Unknown Speaker 2:11:15
Sure. So the challenge is when when we talk about the neurodiversity at work, or autism at work program, we have seen challenges and I would I would describe this in in six step process. Very common challenge is companies and leaders, they ask, Where do I start? We all are connected to someone on the spectrum someone neurodiverse, we don't we have all good intentions to help them get there find the meaningful job, we don't know where to start. So that's a very common challenge, where to start? Then second question is where to find the talent. Where, because in our staffing world, there are a monster.com and hot jobs.com. That doesn't exist. But we took the initiative in 2015 16. And we build that portal, the spectrum careers.com, and things like that, that type of initiatives are needed some centralized and and and what
Unknown Speaker 2:12:22
Stanford neurodiversity project is doing, building that repository, because that's where companies are struggling, the step three is matching. And some of us we shared that you know, how the hiring processes, the interview processes, and how we are having this processes, which is general for everyone and say, who can climb the tree, which Nancy shared earlier. So that is another challenge that how do we screen in versus screen out our our staffing, and any hiring process works with the requirement, then we go ahead and find the talent in rescreen. screen out, okay, that matches or not out. screening is we bring in the talent, and we try to find the right opportunity within the organized steps of screening. So that mattered is I think, which is also creating some issues, then. So for some of the some of the customers, what we've been doing is we are doing this talent showcase kind of a model, where we bring in the talent, we demonstrate, and we show where in which department they can work and that type of so it is a whole different method, which we have developed. And we are constantly evolving and building. So that's the matching of the talent, then the complexity for small businesses, when random hires, it's not too complex. We can customize the onboarding, when we are dealing with large companies in their programs. every department in some cases, has a different requirements for onboarding, different processes for training. So that is very complex. Then number five is sustainability. Once we build the program, that's another huge challenge. How do we sustain right? In yesterday's evening session details student experience, they mentioned that, you know, they would like to build and work with the community where people will know them, we understand them very well. Because that's what is going to create that, that sustainability and understanding of empathy and culture of inclusion. And that's how we will we will able to sustain so that sustainability is in culture is a huge challenge because the and that's where we we focus on that and, and again, culture is not just building but sustaining, sustaining in today's workforce and work environment. People they come and go and and you just just one person's wrong person who has a misunderstanding, you will pick up the phone and call HR and say hey, what's wrong with Nish? Not why Nisha is humming or something. And that can be end of the job and that that, you know, my career. So that's the culture and awareness. Then the last which our today's topic is about scalability, scalability, how do we scale up? How do we measure? How do we establish those metrics, and, and, and the goals of this program, and be constantly amazed that we share with the stakeholders, because large companies, they are all driven by metrics, when they set up the goals, they want to make sure the leadership needs to make sure. So that's another challenge. We don't have that type of infrastructure and technology, which we are we are both working together on putting together that type of approach. And, and and another another approach for ongoing the last piece is always it's it's easy when we end GDL when we build the program, and we focus on certain jobs, it's always easy. But then, how do we scale up? How do we find more jobs, ongoing basis. That's where the challenges, that's where these are the common challenges of, you know, setting up the and setting up and running the neurodiversity at work programs and autism at work programs, which we've been working with partners and building these innovative models and constantly enhancing it.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:16:30
Thank you Manish. And because of all these complex problems, we really need a village to really make things happen. And so glad that
Unknown Speaker 2:16:43
Dr. Fong I believe that that partnership through this type of organizations and this community, that partnership is so important, because not one organization is going to solve this challenge. It's all collaborative effort efforts between multiple organizations. And that's that's what is
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:17:00
really needed. Indeed. And I truly think that this conference, we are going to be able to understand all of our roles in the home during diversity advocacy and employment movement, we are going to be able to make some progress, where we know where each of our organizations do and how we can collaborate with others, that would be a really important step for all of us to really make things better in a larger scale. So similarly, I like to ask Kathleen, what are some of the challenges that you have when you are starting at this cafe? And what what what what are some of the challenges now, you have now run for a number of years.
Unknown Speaker 2:17:56
Thank you. Thanks, Dr. Fung. And thank you to all my co panelists, I've been learning so much, and it's inspirational and elevating for me in the work that I do every day. So So thank you, you know, we run a food business. And food businesses are, you know, can be notoriously stressful. You know, we Luckily, I approached the world, that challenges are just opportunities, maybe it's because I'm a mom. And maybe it's because I know that having grace on your pressure is is really the best thing to do. And in most situations. You know, we're lucky that that food is pretty accessible. It's kinesthetic. So it's been it's been a great way to teach many jobs skills, some of the soft skills to social skills, and then and then technical skills, certainly in our commercial, food kitchen. Running a food business right now is is extremely challenging in the in the midst of a dynamic especially, you know, aidas mission is to is to educate people on both sides of the counter is to create a community and foster understanding. So that's pretty much been taken away given the need to socially distance and wear masks and to not encourage that that connection, that human connection, but we're still working on it.
Nancy Doyle PhD | CEO Genius Within | Co Director centre for neurodiverse at work 2:19:31
I mean, I think
Unknown Speaker 2:19:33
all along I mean the one of the biggest challenges facing a does as a neuro diversity training program. In addition to being a training program and teaching people that maybe this is their first job, that we're a commercial retail enterprise competing on very commercial terms against companies like Starbucks, Pete's and Phil's and a host of other food and beverage businesses. none of whom are really interested in losing market share to a small social enterprise, notwithstanding our, you know, what we think is our important social mission. Unless we provide customers with value in terms of our products and service, the neuro diversity training program, you know, can't survive. So we work really hard. The competition and casual food and beverage space is extremely intense. So we've always said that people will come to eight us once in order to support the mission, but that they won't come back and less products and services that are delivered or as good or better than what they perceive. I think our collaborative work environment, the fact that we work together as a team has enabled us to, to, you know, teach our employees in the moment, that's really important. And I think I think another issue again, because we're a retail environment. You know, unconscious bias, the belief that things produced by our mission based employees are somewhat inferior to what they get from our for profit competitors. Luckily, you know, I'm a trained chef, and I know that our products are made with high quality ingredients, and they're locally sourced and a lot of organics, and that they're much better than what, you know, our customers can purchase from a competitor. But no, we also were in a socially, social media conscious world. Just a few bad Yelp reviews can can torpedo a business like our so called though, the quality standard is pretty unforgiving. So it so I know that we need to constantly deliver excellent products and service in order for our neuro diversity training program to survive. So I guess what, what all this means is that we really focus on constant training, and a lot of it is in the moment. You know, someone mentioned something about an employee humming, you know, we we face those challenges all the time. And we're lucky that everybody that works at eight is all the managers and collaborative employees know that their job, in addition to putting out a good product is also to to help and elevate the employees when they're working. So anyway, great question. Thank you.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:22:39
Thank you, Kathleen. So the next question is going to end. What do you think organizations that are having these autism at work initiative, be able to scale up? This conference is as the theme of scaling up the neuro diversity at work initiative. So this is probably one of the biggest questions that we want to answer.
Unknown Speaker 2:23:09
Well, thank you. And and actually, I think the topic has been covered quite a bit so far. Dr. Holla, and Abby and man, Dr. Nancy Doyle, also touched on it include the people who are neuro minorities. Yesterday during the intersectionality of race and diversity, the panelists were talking about how important it was to be in a community of people like them. So including the neuro minorities in the initiative. And not just in the plans and the policies, but also in the processes, the the logistics, and the review or the retrospective of what worked and what what didn't work. And how can that be improved. For the for for scaling? a quote from Ralph Nader is your best teacher is your last mistake. Okay, and learning from your mistakes and scaling from there. At a spirit tech, a few years ago, we used a recruiting agency to find people that had experience and we had offered full time salaried positions, with benefits to neuro typical people with experience. And they were fine. But they were they were they and it was a bit of an us versus them. atmosphere, the heroes and the helpless. And what we hadn't seen at the time, was our own employees. Our own employees had been at a spare took four years, a few of them since the beginning. And they had experience with many different types of projects. So and many of those that the time, they weren't full time, they weren't getting the benefits, or competitive wages. So we've really turned that around. And we have included them. I had mentioned before how we have our neuron minorities are at in every role at a spirit tech, they have a whole life of experiences of that being heard. And so there's some of the best listeners. They listen to each other. And they listen between the lines, they advocate for each other in in, sometimes in ways and at levels that I've never experienced in the workplace. And even when there they are advocating for something that isn't self serving. So including them at every level and every step of the of the process. And, you know, we've learned that that our neurone minority employees, they make some of the some of the best supervisors, some of the best coaches, and some of the best client contacts. Sometimes I need to tell our clients that some of our employees can be blunt. And it might surprise them at times. But they come to really appreciate it. Because there's no hidden agenda. Our employees are what we refer to as, as wiziwig. You know, what you see is what you get. And we've really seen the benefit of scaling with our no minority employees.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:26:56
Thank you. So building on that. points, brijesh. What are some additional main points that we should be thinking about? Can scaling up to nearly diversity of work initiative?
Unknown Speaker 2:27:15
Thanks, Lawrence. Well, you know, I think, as we think about scaling, anything, it requires that we have defined systems and processes that can be replicated can be repeated. And and so the way we think about scaling is that first, you've got to make sure you have the right systems and processes, before replicating the wrong thing. And so, you know, really the, the emphasis for us at Ultron arts is to design those systems and what we call the universal workplace. Again, as I mentioned before, you know, we're trying to move away from a reliance or focus on individual accommodations. Because those are not a solution. They're just a symptom of the problem. And the problem is a system that's being designed in a way that is not flexible, that is not inclusive, that actually doesn't work for many people in the organization. And so the system is the thing that needs fixing. And that needs changing, it's not the person. And so as we think about scaling, you know, the place to start there is to redesign the system. And and I say all this, not to say that we do not need accommodations in the current state, we do because the system is broken. But let's not stop there. Because that simply should be a, you know, a real warning sign that we've got a broken system. And so as we think about, how do you redesign the system for scaling, instead of creating that universal workplace? We think of it in a few dimensions. One is, of course, flexibility. So an ultra naughts. We're fully virtual, we're 100% remote team, everybody works from home. It's been that way for seven years, that may not work for some organizations. But I would say as we've now all learned through COVID, giving people that choice is always the right answer. If you have team members, most you know if the work can be done remotely give people the choice, because that will actually improve productivity. There's a fair bit of evidence around this. Were allowing humans to choose the environment we were they work in is is a winning proposition. The second dimension of flexibility is the workweek, right? We've all sort of are stuck in the industrial age 100 years ago, with this notion of fixed hours. And you know, this idea of an FTP full time equivalent 4050 hours a week. There's no evidence that that's optimal for human productivity. And so at ultra knots we call it the DTE a desired time equivalent. And in most roles if you know in a salary drill, you can choose whether you want quote full time or you'd prefer 30 hours a week. You know, three quarters time or halftime compensations prorated. So it's not exactly you know, it's not an extra cost of the business. But it does mean that we can retain great talent and allow great talent to progress in their careers versus penalizing them. Because let's just say they're hyper productive for, you know, 30 hours a week, great. Let's figure out how we can tap into all of those strengths. And then one other dimension of flexibility, I would say, is just multimodal communication, you know, the idea of face to face interactions is being the default. And being this amazing way to interact, you know, is false. And not just in a remote environment, even when you're sort of somewhat co located. And so at ultra knots, you know, we default to chat. And if we're going to have a meeting, that's a synchronous group interaction, you know, there needs to be a good reason for it, because it presents all kinds of challenges. But of course, when you have those meetings, it's really important to allow team members to participate in different ways. So if we've got a video call, we'll always have a chat window open, we'll try to always have live transcription. And, you know, we'll obviously allow other ways in which we adopt that philosophy. So we've adopted some of the core agile principles into what we call inclusive agile, where one of the core principles is around face to face interactions and how that's amazing, and it's not.
Unknown Speaker 2:31:38
And we've sort of proven it to ourselves. And so that does mean, you think about then redesigning that extremely useful methodology in a more inclusive way. So how do you do sprint planning or retrospectives or story grooming in a way that allows, you know, every team member to fully contribute, because surely, if you can do that, and tap into all of those strengths, the team wins. And so, you know, I'll get off my soapbox and just say, as we think about scaling, it's really important to not just think about how do we bring on more people who are neuro minorities, that is, of course important. And you know, step one is have a viable business that can scale. And then step two is redesigned the workplace in the system of work, to be more inclusive, so that someone who's different, isn't penalized for that difference, but in fact, is able to use their unique strengths and contribute to the team.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:32:39
Yeah, that's really wonderful. flexibility. That's the probably the major word that we want to remember and Nish can building on including neuro minorities, including flexibility in the design of your processes. What are some other additional major points that you think we should include, when want to scale up? Work initiative.
Unknown Speaker 2:33:09
And this is very, this is this is my favorite topic, because this is what I talked to the leaders from the corporate world, that once this, as Roger said, you know, once you build this processes, once the systems are designed like JP Morgan Chase, and Accenture and BMS, and Australian, young and Microsoft has those processes built in like 567 years, what is next? Next is a technology architect, what I believe that we need to build a technology driven program tech enabled program, where we can really leverage all these learnings and put it in practice and connect that to the hiring systems, companies they hire in different ways there are multiple environments, this global companies, how do we put a system so that hiring managers are empowered and they will see that okay, this is an autism friendly job neuron, this is neurodiversity friendly job, how do we give an influence them, and that technology can help us not only just do this, but also make these processes more scalable, sustainable, cost effective, because all these activities cost money and one of the things which we experience when we work with large global companies, when we set up the program in us now we are expanding in India and Ireland and, and euro, the cost is B. If the cost is high, companies are going to just treat this as an initiative, they will have 235 100 200 when we are putting 50,000 adults on the spectrum every year. This is not going to make the dent. We need to have this hiring best practices as part of the system, part of the community. Right and then One of the other thing is, you know, biggest thing what we have learned is get the buy in from top top management, though so it just you know, there are a lot of ERC big groups are doing some amazing work. But if there is no support from the leadership, this program doesn't get that another on the on the scaling upside what we are seeing we have seen HR strategic sourcing, procurement and and talent acquisition, all these multiple departments, all they are coming together, we have just started seeing that the last few years, they are all keeping diversity and inclusion, supplier diversity, it's all about diversity, right? But instead of working in the silos in this large global companies, they are all now coming together. And putting together the strategy. That is not just an initiative, it's a hiring, talent strategy, convert that that's how we were able to hire 1000s of people, you know, amazing the metrics, show this to the to the leadership team and say here, these are the graphs and charts and say, This is how we started. This is where we are one of the conclude, my biggest frustration with this topic is let's not over engineer this. It's not that complex. We have enough learnings. Let's take this learnings, put that in the systems and start implementing it. And it's always going to be own learning ongoing learning process. It's about the partnership partner with employers. And we share this with them that this is something which is good, we'll do our best. We are the expert. But there is one no 100% guarantee we will have some hiccups. So let's be transparent to employers. So they should know that this is going to be ongoing learning process. We don't have to anyway, so that's sorry, I just sound a little fuzzy, because this is what we go through this with corporations and say 150 200 300 hires are not enough. We have enough learning. So let's move on and build some scalable programs, leverage the technology, breed some AI, which we have something and influence people share success stories, build this connected community. And and make sure that everybody is given the support and all this great learnings we are taking from this conference, and then disseminate that information with bigger big employers because, of course, small and big booth because as you know, we always talk about this doctor from the small businesses in the United States has a big role to play. But if we have this best practices, how do we disseminate that information to the small businesses also, and help large companies implementers best practices?
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:37:53
Very well said, niche. So we only have about two minutes left of before we get to the q&a from the audience. So I'm going to challenge all the speakers to if I'm going to ask you that question. Try to summarize your your answer in about 30 seconds. Okay, so this kind of challenging, but I know you can all do it. So. And in light of the pandemic, how does your organization manage the challenges from the job market?
Unknown Speaker 2:38:33
Well, like Dr. Nancy Doyle said we all were forced to go remote, which was a learning experience from us. And as I had mentioned, before, we learn from our mistakes and the circumstances. We the current job market, one of the things that we've found it's important is employee benefits, which is sounds like their perks and extras. But they're really they are critical. They're fundamental. So being able to to meet the needs of of the candidates is very important. And as Rick just said, Give them a choice as to the working environment.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:39:17
Thank you. Same question, Rebecca 30 seconds.
Unknown Speaker 2:39:23
So in the pandemic, we did have to move all of our employees to remote working. And I think the most important piece of the way that we handled this was by the support that we've given them to be successful. We focus on each individual and what they need to do well in their jobs. I was really pleased that our team was able to transition very quickly and our clients did not see any disruption and what they were doing, I agree with and benefits are everything, making sure that they have everything that they need in their lives and also from a mental health. health perspective, you know, every week is a different week during COVID. So focusing on their mental health and well being and putting together well being plans for each individual employee compassionate management is the key here
Unknown Speaker 2:40:17
rejects same question. Thanks, Lauren. You know, just picking up on what Rebecca was saying, I think mental health and this is for everyone, right? So at ultra knots, we were already fully remote. So operationally, nothing changed. But being remote, while being surrounded by fear and panic is a very different kind of thing. And so the two things, you know, I'd say that served us well. One is that we already monitor well being and we've got metrics in our company dashboard that tie back to things like loneliness, and so on, we've got a bot that pulls the team every day, and the results are live. So there's full transparency, we dialed up the kind of frequency of support. So instead of a once a month community gathering was every week, then we slowly over time, you know, that to every other week, we doubled the number of life coach hours and so on. But I think just measuring and being responsive, and understanding well being is important, the other is transparency, because when you're surrounded by uncertainty, the last thing you need is to be uncertain about your business. As a business, you know, we took a hit, but we're actually we recovered fast, we're going to grow at 70% this year. But there's so much uncertainty. And so we started doing things like after our weekly management team meetings, we would post all of the decisions and discussion points, because I will guarantee you, your team members are worried about things that are a lot worse than the reality. And so just creating transparency as much as you can, can be reassuring in these times of uncertainty.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:41:49
Very well said rejection. So Kathleen, how does your organization handle hiring people with a large spectrum of neuro diverse conditions or disabilities? 30 seconds.
Unknown Speaker 2:42:03
Tick, tick, tick. Okay, so So yeah, we just we strive to create a collaborative, cooperative, understanding supportive environment, that's those, those that's our credo. That's what we live by. It works. We tell our employees that really, the only thing they need to bring to work is a good attitude, patience for themselves and patients for others. And it's really about communication. That's, it's what we do in it. It's, it's successful. And we and we provide accommodations, you know, in our kitchen, some of our neuro diverse employees. They want to wear headphones that helps keep the focus and did by Well, what other things are going on. And we provide this.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:42:52
Thank you, Kathleen, same question for Bill. Please unmute. Can you ask the question one more time I just got How is your
Unknown Speaker 2:43:05
organization handle hiring people with a large spectrum of neuro diverse conditions or disabilities?
Unknown Speaker 2:43:12
Well, this is another we're very fortunate from the very beginning, because we're not a service provider. And, and we receive no government funding. We're open to anyone that can work, and do the work that we do. And anyone that wants to work. Actually, that's the first question I ask is, do you want to work because some people are sent to us by others who are more interested in them work in the ER? So they ask the answer those two questions, then, then we go right out to the floor and have a working interview where they can have hands on. And there's about five test sets. And by the end of that working interview, we generally find the thing that they have to offer, it's it's it quite often is hidden, and it comes out in the working interview. And so what I can tell you is is that that allows that's been allowed us to hire the widest spectrum of folks with any kind of diagnosis that that I can think of. So it's that's how we do what we do going forward to.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:44:19
Thank you, Bill. So in the last 10 minutes or so, we're going to try to answer at least 3534 questions so I'm not sure if we can get through all of them but we will try as much as possible and a lot of these questions are not going to a specific person. So please just jump in, jump on, or you raise your hand and jump jump on so that way we are ready. So the first question is I have found employers running psychometrics and then not wanting to employ this individual because Tests have discussed the autism traits. How do you explain to senior managers at interview that these tests are inappropriate? Anyone want to answer this question? Nish?
Unknown Speaker 2:45:19
I would say it's not a job seekers job, it's more the or the organization or who has brought you for the interview. Those individuals, professionals or organizations, needs to do a better job in educating them. That's not that's not the job seekers job.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:45:39
Thank you. Rejected This question is for you. I'm worried about companies becoming fully virtual as kinesthetic hands on autistic person. How does alternate support kinesthetic and extroverted employees? So, you know,
Unknown Speaker 2:45:58
as a company, we're fully digital, the work we do isn't physical, you know, so we might be validating the output of an analytics site or building test automation into an ETL or pipeline. So in that sense, you know, hands on means doing work digitally. And so absolutely. So we've, thanks to our learning and development team and my colleagues on the leadership team, who's our head of quality, Nicole, we've sort of designed a design for neuro diversity in our training. So we've got, we think about upskilling, in sort of, in slightly different terms in that instead of like sending someone off to a five week coding boot camp, you learn a bunch of general skills with no practical application, we've dissected the skills you need into micro learning paths. So it might be like API test automation with Java, right? That's a learning path. But those are bookended by hands on quote, hands on projects in that you actually take the thing you learn and build something and then get feedback and coaching on it and build things with a community of learners in a Slack channel, that's learning the same thing. So I think the the answer there is less about virtual at least in our case, it's more about how do you give people real experience to put the things they're learning to use in incremental chunks so that you're actually learning building, learning, building, learning, building versus just going off and studying something?
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:47:31
Thank you. So this question can be answered by many of you. My autistic daughter is heading to college next year to pursue a degree in computer science. What recommendation would you give when she is ready to enter the workforce? Can anybody want to raise her hand? Okay, and
Unknown Speaker 2:47:55
I have four kids that just finished college. I think it's really important that she enjoys what she does. It's a big decision, what your college degree should be in. And so many colleges have the opportunity for internships, externships getting experience. And so I think that's really important, not only for the prospective employer, but for her daughter, to make sure that that she enjoys what she does. And also, computer science is a really broad field, there are so many different things you can do. So the more experience she has, so that she can direct her job search, the better. Thank you, man.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:48:48
This is good question. Can any one of you talk about how you develop autistic talent for leadership roles and permeating neuro diversity at all levels? Who wants to take that one? Rebecca?
Unknown Speaker 2:49:05
Yes. So at otter con, we really focus on career development on every level. Many of our employees have no experience when they come in, and we have a training program that they go through and then depth different levels that they can can reach. And we work with each individual to first of all identify where they want to go in their career and help them get there. We have people at all levels in our organization who are on the spectrum, ranging from leadership to finance to marketing sales. And as with any of our employees, whether they're on the spectrum or not, we focus on career development and helping our employees get to the next level. Thank you, Rebecca. Yeah, I will say
Unknown Speaker 2:49:59
if I can just time I think I completely agree with what Rebecca is saying. And then I also think it's important to kind of in a very structured way, make sure that things like performance reviews are equitable, right? So, a couple years ago, we had, we had some formal, you know, annual performance reviews to make decisions around promotions and merit increases, and so on. And we had a group of six teammates who came together, you know, all neuro minorities and just tore it apart, and came back with 4039 recommendations on how to fix performance reviews. And we've implemented them and one of them I, I'm just going to share this because every organization should do this. In the performance review, input forums, usually the rating scale is from does not meet expectations, to exceeds expectations. Whose expectations? Did you clarify those expectations with the employee? Does reviewer one's expectations match reviewer twos? And if not, why are you using this? Anyway, I would just say, you know, sometimes, at the tactical level, they're just changes you can make to remove some of the roadblocks that might prevent someone from progressing.
Unknown Speaker 2:51:12
More measured that you can create your performance reviews, we do it in the skills and responsibilities type list so that each individual knows what they have to achieve to get to the next level. And it's very measured.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:51:29
Bill, you're going to ask at something.
Unknown Speaker 2:51:32
Yes, I my experience, like everything in blue star has been that we've probably done it wrong to begin with, and then made adjustments. But in this particular case, and I think this is true, really with everyone in the workforce, that there are individual performers that are superstars, they're there, they have the ability to go well beyond what's assigned to them. And and there are others in the team that have a greater interest in their teammates, a greater interest in the performance of the entire team. So what I can say is we've promoted the strong individual performers to find out that we just killed them, because we we burden them with with trying to get everyone else to keep come up to their speed. Our best promotions, I think we have seven people with on the spectrum and in supervisory roles. Now. They were the people that came to me at the end mentioned that they came to me and told me how well their co workers did that day, and not themselves. So I so as you as we promoted, we've been looking for that element. Thank you, Bill.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:52:39
So we'll talk about some of the challenges, what are some pleasant surprises that you have encountered in the work the social enterprises that you're all involved in?
Unknown Speaker 2:52:52
I think for us, one of the things that I found pleasantly surprising is that when we track transition to a remote working environment due to COVID, that the chief complaint still today is that they must be together. And and being able to socialize with one another in the workplace. It was a really wonderful thing to learn.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:53:19
couple minutes left. So we're trying to be fast with answering these questions. In what ways can you accommodate employees with OCD is relatively specific. Anybody has a example?
Unknown Speaker 2:53:43
Well, I can we benefit from having different types of projects. And sometimes we can and we leverage our employment support specialists to help our individuals do this and identify ways but putting them on projects that are a good fit. And actually, yesterday Dr. Hala nabee had had a slide that showed what were the problems, but then what were the corresponding strengths. So really kind of looking at the at the strength based and getting them on a project that's so better fit.
Unknown Speaker 2:54:28
I would say real quick. We have a young woman who does the hard drive disassembly pulling boards and she's OCD and she she set the all the records of bluestar but if you go to her workstation, she has two monitors playing watching a TV show watching something else and and she has headphones on so she's got three inputs and but she's just tearing through the material. So I you know I my thought is is that whatever makes you hum you know Go ahead and set the workstation up to accordingly.
Unknown Speaker 2:55:04
And in our, in our commercial kitchen, we have a lot of equipment. And we have a couple of employees that have OCD, and they help us keep everything organized. It's pretty remarkable and so helpful.
Unknown Speaker 2:55:23
You know, I would just say, maybe not answering the question, but part of what we all need to do is to create an environment where team members, you know, have the psychological safety to ask for help and ask for what they need. And while not everyone may be able to advocate for themselves, we should have a easy way for advocacy to occur. And so I think, you know, part of the challenge and part of the learning to your earlier question, both kind of surprising, in a good way, but also surprising, and I can't believe we didn't think about that. It's just, it's hard to narrowly define both strengths and needs, right. And I think creating a, an environment and a workplace and a culture that can be more flexible. And meet the each individual where they are including, you know, maybe, for example, like we're a quality engineering firm, all our projects run in an agile way. But agile demands that you have daily measures of individual output, that's terrible, because people don't work in a steady flow of output. And individual pressure like that can be really destructive. And so we're learning about how do we come together, make commitments together, measure our performance together as a team, but allow for the very human reality that you know, not everyone's going to be hyper productive every day or all the time?
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:57:01
One, one last comment, and then we'll have to wrap up.
Unknown Speaker 2:57:05
Yeah, I mean, this is with respect to the earlier question about pleasant surprises being a social enterprise. One pleasant surprise that we have noticed is the reception of the executives at these organizations to innovative and new approaches, has been very encouraging. So I just wanted to get that point out there. Thank you.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 2:57:29
Thank you for rich, and thank you, all of you. Nash bill, Rebecca brijesh. And Kathleen Harish all of you have done really remarkable work in all different ways. And thank you for setting good examples. And some of you are going to be speaking with some of the attendees in the networking session in the next few days. So we can continue on with that conversation. So in about 12 minutes, we are going to start the next session. So everyone, please take a break. We are going to resume in just about 12 minutes. Thank you again,
Unknown Speaker 2:58:19
everyone. Thanks, everyone. Thank you, Lauren. You're welcome. Thank you. Thank you. There's no Hi, I Tiffany. We both set the note to laurencin we haven't heard back from them yet. Okay. Look at we got dressed up, Tiffany. I'm wearing shorts. Um, well, I'm in regular pants for the moment till this is over.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 3:01:11
Please, please note for the time being. Okay, Lawrence, are you going to run our slides? Yes, we were. Okay.
I'm going to get started. Welcome to the Stanford neuro diversity summit. For those of you that just joined welcome, I would like to let you know that all the sessions are recorded and transcribed. Please check our summit website periodically for the YouTube videos. All questions from the audience will be submitted through the q&a function at the bottom of your screen. The moderators will try to cover as many questions as possible. This summer, our group at Stanford has organized a neuro diversity design thinking workshop for the community. This workshop is based on the neuro diversity design thinking class that I teach at Stanford. But unlike our class at Stanford, this workshop is truly multi stakeholder activity. There are nearly diverse individuals, parents of their diverse individuals, employment specialists, mental health providers and other stakeholders. About 90 people sign up for this nine week seven session workshop with a goal of building something useful for neuro diversity, especially in terms of employment. From about from August to October, we have about 70 people that are actively participating in the workshop. And they were divided into 10 groups and invited were invite them to compete for the opportunities to present in today's session. So in only two months, they came up with two of their many very powerful person centered ideas. And they built a prototype and they even tested them. So, Mark is going to introduce them one by one right before they start their presentation.
Unknown Speaker 3:11:21
All right, yes. So the first the place went to group six. The project title is the new the new neuro diversity inclusion index Mgi. And the people are in the group is Carla Carrillo. Tiffany Payton, Jameson re Cal solinsky. Janet Miller, Lawrence, Larry Rothman, Holly talk, trash, Patricia, your thunder, Sara Zink. Take it away group six.
Unknown Speaker 3:11:54
Thank you very much mark. It's delightful to be known as group six. Actually, we became a family as we did this. And we were thrilled to say the least to be voted number one for our project, which is called the neuro diversity. Sorry, neuro diversity inclusion index. And what I want to do is tell you a little bit about our group, tell you how we use the design shop methodology give you the value proposition that we're able to develop so that it makes this worthwhile, and actually demonstrate via our website, what the neuro diversity inclusion index looks like. So I have the next slide, please. Our group, as you can see, was composed of seven people. I'm the guy on the left and my co presenter is the person next me Tiffany Jamison. And we had, as Lauren says, described, a multi discipline, multi background, very diverse background group. And what was really wonderful about it is that we all gel as a family, we spent many evenings on zoom, validating the MDI. And we soon grew to become a very coherent group that were in total support of each other. May I have the next slide, please. So to look at what is the new row diversity inclusion index, basically, it is an index driven by companies, employees and candidates for jobs, the latter to being a neurodivergent. That themselves and the index serves two real functions. It allows candidates and employees to both describe their experience in the company and during the process of being hired or not. And it allows them to also provide a an input to the index such that people can judge can judge whether or not a company is neuro diverse and neurodivergent friendly. What we believe this sets up is an internal competition among companies as well, because with the public rating and ranking system, very few companies are going to want to have a low end di most people want to do very, very, very well. What makes us a bit unusual is that we are looking at this thing from a 360 degree angle that is the employers, the employees and the candidate so we get a full picture of what's going on and they have the next slide please. Our key findings No surprise is that the N di fills a gap that doesn't exist in the environment. There is no specific neuro diverse index that's around much. To our surprise, there are lots of inclusion in the indices, but none that spoke that focuses specifically on recruitment, hiring and retention of people with neuro diversity. The thing that we discovered is that in addition, going forward, and we'll talk to you about our plan about going forward, MDI can be a standalone, we have our own website for it. Or it could be included into a another employment website. Next slide, please. So in order to validate what we were doing, we needed to construct a survey. And as you can see, on both sides, we have a separate survey for employers and a separate survey for employees and candidates. And we build the each of those surveys iteratively, that is we kept speaking to people about Does this make sense? Does that make sense. And in the end, what happened is you can see the results, employers for the most part, were even lukewarm or absolutely thrilled with the idea of having this. And the key is finding that I would like to point out is that many of them said they may change their hiring standards as a result. If you look on the other side of the ledger, in this case, employers and candidates uniformly love this idea. And the one thing that stands out more than anything else, is they said it allows their voice to be heard, and that is so vitally important. Next slide, please.
Unknown Speaker 3:16:58
So, we made extensive use of the methodology that was part of the new wrote the sorry, the Stanford design workshop, as Lauren said, and thank you again, Lawrence for including us We're honored. The methodology is a five step process, as you can see in the hexagons, for us, the two major points that changed the course of what we're doing, we're in the emphasize step, the very first step, and then the IDA step, the third step, and the emphasize step by listening to the people in our group who are neurodivergent, they were able to tell us what their issues were with employment. In the ideate step, what was very, very clear is there wasn't an objective measurement index or standard for all three stakeholders, the employers, the candidates and the employees. Now, if you look at the next slide, which talks about the Starburst capability, next slide, please. Which is a technique that the design workshop uses, we asked ourselves why when how, who, what, where, and what came out, is that the real push here was the lie. Because we could influence inclusive hiring, we could influence sustainability of hiring, we could create a resource for job seekers, and we could create partnerships. So I want to go on to the next slide, please. Which shows what we've learned. The critical elements for the MDI are that it's usable, that it continues to be innovative, and that it's flexible. All those those three things are absolutely necessary for it to be a success. Next, I want to show you what are business cases. And I'll point you to the blue box from one of the colleagues. We've talked to inclusively, where they said And here is an enormous value proposition for business that many times is overlooked company and I'll read this to you. Because it is so profound, companies actively employing people with disabilities have an 89% higher retention rate, a 72% increase in employee productivity and a 29% increase in profitability. I think nothing more has to be said than that. Although there are many other capabilities that and reasons for a business and for employees and candidates to look at this. What I'm going to show you next is the research methodology we methodology we used. In the stakeholder surveys we had to go through a six or seven point process in each case. Which was an iterative process. We created surveys, we identified employers and participants, we got their feedback, we we find the surveys, we compile the results, and we created an index. And so when we got to that the next step was to look at the world around us. Next slide, please. And either look at competitors, or potential partners for this. And as you can see, we found seven or eight that were involved in indexes that were involved with inclusion, and are in our opinion, there were two that stood out. And we are actively engaging those, as you can see on the right side of the under the green light. What I like to introduce whom I'd like to introduce is my colleague, Tiffany Jamison, who is going to actually show you what is in the index. Tiffany? All right, thank you, everybody.
Unknown Speaker 3:20:59
I'm delighted to be here. It was quite the experience getting everybody together, what I'd like to show you some of the prototype we put together, and I actually just did bits and pieces of it because it's quite comprehensive. If you could put push the spacebar, please. Lord to push the spacebar. Thank you. So I pulled out his This is the prototype. And if you see on the bottom level, well being accommodation, mentorship, job coaching, and communication, these were all the areas that we felt, our group of multi stakeholders needed to be addressed that currently weren't addressed when looking at an employer. And these things were important for candidates that are neurodivergent or cognitively diverse. So some of the questions that the team felt were needed to ask is about accommodations during the interview process. And during startup employment, are they proactively asking you if you need these shadowing? You know, is there a dedicated person or consultant to communicate to kind of break down some of those initial barriers? And are you comfortable asking your supervisor for clarifications. So these were ideas of things that would help really focus the employer looking at what is important, and by individuals that are neurodivergent, who would look at scoring companies from the interviewing and the hiring process, we will get a better feel for if they can be a good fit for a future employee. Next slide, please. So the visual we see, and I want to thank inclusively for allowing us to mock up their current website. So when you're looking at a company and you want to potentially apply, what you could do is get these indexes here where it shows the nd wi inclusion score. So what we see here is somebody who did not score very well on the inclusion score. If you could spacebar, please. Now we see somebody who did. So these would be good indicators. And there's a lot of Sciences still needs to go behind these to show that there are great companies that are inclusive and are aware of the neurodivergent needs in the workplace. Next slide. And lastly, when it comes to somebody who's looking for a career or looking for an opportunity, near divergence, we all know the spectrum is huge, their needs and their the requirements to be successful in the workplace. So this would allow them to have additional functionality to feature jobs based on what they feel is important for them in the workplace. And that would allow them to be able to say this company XYZ is the company that I know will have accommodations that are acceptable for me during the hiring process. I want to go and apply to them. Next slide. Go ahead, Larry.
Unknown Speaker 3:23:51
So as you can see, this is a real live model. As Lauren said, in order to make the workshop live, we had to build a prototype and we did so where do we go from here. So today, we're on the left side in a controlled environment we are developing. The next step after that is a commercial environment we need to look for a partner or a standalone capability. And then finally to activate an aggregated scoring system for the neuro diversity index. And we will continue to serve a business's survey candidates and employees and incorporate their feedback to make the MDI better and better and better. Next slide please, which is our conclusions. So first and foremost, all three stakeholder groups believe that there is a need for this that it is welcome and that will make a profound difference. The overall sentiment is positive. partnership opportunities are there. And as you can see, our proof of concept is a major success. And I want to leave with the final slide, please. And this comes from Accenture. And this is a byproduct that we had not originally thought about. But it's quite true. And I'll read this to you. And then we'll take questions. Being honest about where you stand can be hard, yet crucial first step towards becoming a more inclusive company. accountability and creating an environment of trust for employees feel comfortable self identifying as having a disability are true measures of inclusion. I think that tells the full tale. And thank you very much. We are now open to questions.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 3:25:55
We have about two minutes for questions. We have one question here is the nd that will AI being applied or will be outside the United States? Please? Well,
Unknown Speaker 3:26:14
Frank, now we need to get a platform for it to be and we need to come up how we can keep it independent. And make sure it's objective. I think there are companies that are multinational, and I think the ratings would go but we do need to factor in the different locations and how each location in many times is its own climate. And we want to make sure to address those topics. So if something's working great in Los Angeles, is it really the same in London? And how is that for a neurodivergent? employee? So yes, but it is a little bit more complicated than just opening it up.
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 3:26:53
I don't think there are any more questions. Mark, are there any more questions? One second, I don't. How can we link with you To learn more,
Unknown Speaker 3:27:20
you can go ahead on nd inclusion.org. And we have a subscription list where you can sign up. And we'll continue to give some updates about our progress. Hopefully, we'll have some partners that pick up and we can get the ball rolling and make this more of a really big tool for the neurodivergent population to get what they need in the hiring process and in the employment process. So nd inclusion.org, please sign up for our list and we'll keep you up to date. Okay, Tiffany and
Lawrence Fung MD PhD | Stanford | Assistant Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences | child and adolescent 3:27:56
Larry is really wonderful project that you have made tremendous progress within only a couple of months. So thank you. Thank you. So, Mark, would you like to introduce the next script?
Unknown Speaker 3:28:16
Yes. So for the second place, we had a tie. And the second place for the first one will go to group five. The project title is building self advocacy skills for neuro diverse employees. Group five consists of Jenny Hong adlam you caught Rashid, Wesley Strickland, Nancy Chen and Ivan Arce. Take away group five.
Unknown Speaker 3:28:48
Thank you, um, my name is Leslie Strickland. Now let's start with presenting this. So we started thinking about this during this workshop, and we were trying to figure out how to build self advocacy skills for neurodiverse individuals. And we thought it would be great to gamify an employee resource group for multiple reasons. Next slide, please.
Unknown Speaker 3:29:18
As we've kind of been talking about at this conference a lot already is that we're at this tipping point moment where neurodiversity is kind of being brought from one framework to another and diversity inclusion framework. And I think that's going to have a statistics that are on this slide if and when it does, but this really could create a way to collect meaningful data while protecting providing a way to build community and empower employees. That side. So the idea was with this gamified employee resource group to make sure that it's engaging it's online. Good job. Gaming with rich content, customizable, anonymous avatars, dynamic missions and a lot scalable. So you can piggyback off of other programs that are already out there. A lot of companies already use gamification. Microsoft has others who were to allow real time anonymized data sets for the neurodivergent community, which really doesn't exist right now. So that kind of helps to bring us into the, the current system we're in, and then inclusivity. And then I'm gonna pass this off to my other colleagues.
Unknown Speaker 3:30:38
Thanks, Wes. So why did we choose gamification, so there were a number of different reasons we've highlighted three for you here. The first was learning to advocate for oneself as a journey for all people. And it can be challenging for neuro diverse individuals. And we felt that games can provide a safe space, which can challenge near diverse individuals at their pace, and they can identify the skill sets and the other areas that they want to build on. And they can play something that's very internal to them, and they can still play with it within a group and then decide to take some of that learning outside. So it's what linking their internal and external worlds. And we really want, the idea of an employee resource group is that everybody was part of that group brings their whole selves, and the organization learns more about them through the advocacy of that era, and see what we wanted to provide that in a sort of different way for a neuro diverse employees. Games are also very engaging, and they can build self confidence. The provider community for folks and gamers span the the breadth of ages, genders, diversities, and, you know, it's gaming is a very attractive and engaging proposition. With args, you can sometimes end up in a very traditional sort of forum in which you have events happening when people come together, or they do meetings, or you know, potlucks or things like that. But in this case, it's a very different very rich, engaging environment. And given that, you know, there's COVID going on with the pandemic, we feel it'll have a real reach and real interest. And we've seen that, as wessington said, and there's other stats showing that lots of gaming platforms have seen an exponential increase in their utility in this last few months. Next slide, please. So what would this game look like? So we have envisaged this game at a very high level as sort of a role playing game with action adventure thrown in. So you would you would sign up for the game, you would first build your avatar. Now in doing so, you know, how would you build it, there's quizzes or other kinds of ways in which you could determine what that avatar looked like fat, like, we really want it to be a representation of the individual. At the same time, it could be fantastical. And it would be anonymized. Or it could be made, you know, people could share who they are, it's really dependent on the user and then player, there'll be a discovery process in the building of this avatar, then we would go on missions and the missions would there would be knowledge base mission. So for example, if you have a neuro diverse, so you knew a typical colleague who's playing the game, and they really want to learn a lot more about neuro diversity or you know, so they can go and complete a bunch of modules or missions in that space. folks would select and complete challenges. So we'll talk about in the next slide, what those challenges would look like or could be within. But you could select challenges based on their difficulty you could identify which are more challenging for you. The more challenges complete, the more rewards you get, the more tokens you earn. It could be a leaderboard, there would even be external challenges. For example, if it's, you know, someone's having a harder time initiating a particular kind of meeting, you know, if they're able to do that it's something they come back and they can self report and they'll earn more points and there's more sort of
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