Celebrating Neurodiversity – Awards Dinner and Conference
27th & 28th June 2019
This year Genius Within CIC hosted two new events – an awards dinner and neurodiversity conference, to celebrate the strengths of neurodiversity.
We awarded in the following categories:
For information on the winners please see here
Celebrating Neurodiversity Conference
28th June 2019
We had an exciting and informative day of neurodiversity focused keynote speeches and workshops, alongside demonstrations of assistive technology – please watch this space for our summary of the day, which will be published as soon as we have all caught our breath!
Speakers included:Steve Silberman, Judy Singer, Professor Amanda Kirby, Dr Nancy Doyle, Clare Cherry, Paul Stevenson, John Levell,
See below for more details on each speaker.
All proceeds for this event will go to Tourettes Action
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 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 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 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.
Photo and more info to follow.
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 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”