[Title slide for the presentation. CAI logo in blue in the center of the slide with the tagline, "We power the possible" directly underneath the logo. The title for the webinar is under the tagline, "Neurodiversity and long-term success: College to career."] [Presentation slide 1. Photo background. In the top left corner is the CAI logo in white with Neurodiverse Solutions Formerly Autism2Word directly beside it. In the top right corner is a small video box containing the first speaker, Anthony Pacillio with CAI. The title of the webinar is in the bottom of the slide: A CAI Webinar - Neurodiversity and long-term success: College to career.] 00:00:06:21 - 00:00:41:15 Anthony Pacilio Welcome, everyone to today's webinar, Neurodiversity and Long Term Success College to Career. My name is Anthony Pacilio, Vice President of Neurodiverse Solutions at CAI. And briefly about me. My responsibilities are to help organizations build neurodiversity programs and to lead our global expansion efforts of CAI Neurodiverse Solutions. My expertise lies in managing neurodiversity recruiting efforts, developing candidate pipelines, and ensuring best practices for onboarding, support, training, and organizational success. 00:00:41:29 - 00:01:06:06 Anthony So before we begin, I'd like to take a moment or two to go over some of those fun housekeeping items that we always talk about on these Zoom webinars. If you have any questions to submit during the discussion, we ask that you use the Q&A feature found on the bottom bar of your Zoom app. There's going to be a time at the end of the discussion that will address as many questions as we possibly can. 00:01:06:18 - 00:01:31:00 Anthony In addition, you can find more information on the event in the chat box, so be sure to follow along with that as well. And lastly, I want to let you know that we are recording this session today for future viewing. First, let's take a brief look at what we're going to be talking about today. You're going to see some estimates here of the timing for each part of our conversation. [Agenda slide noting the amount of time that will be spent in each section of the webinar. Introduction will be 5 minutes. Discussion will be 35 minutes. Audience Q&A will be 15 minutes. Wrap up of the webinar will be 5 minutes.] [Meet our guests slide. Includes three headshots, one for each guest, the guests' names, titles, and places of work. Guest 1: Susanne M. Bruyere, PhD, CRC, Director and Professor of Disability Studies, Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University. Guest 2: Kalin Bennett, Student Athlete and Founder of SpekTrum 50 Foundation. Guest 3: Jamie Craig, Associate Director of Enterprise Applications, University of Pittsburgh IT.] 00:01:31:28 - 00:02:00:18 Anthony And we're also going to be sharing with you each question visual early as well. So let's move on to our guests. First, let's meet one of my good friends, Dr. Susanne Bruyere. Dr. Bruyere is a professor of Disability Studies and the director of the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute of Unemployment and Disability at Cornell University in the quaint little town of Ithaca, New York. 00:02:01:07 - 00:02:45:03 Anthony Dr. Bruyere serves as the Institute administrative strategic lead and the principal investigator of research, dissemination and technical assistance efforts focused on employment, disability policy and effective disability workplace practices. She's authored 4 books in over 120 peer reviewed articles and book chapters on workplace disability inclusion. Welcome, Dr. Bruyere. Next up, we have Kalin Bennett. Kalin is well known as the first Division 1 basketball player to disclose his autism diagnosis and founder of his nonprofit SpekTrum 50 Foundation, which aims to inspire youth on and off the autism spectrum. 00:02:45:25 - 00:03:08:22 Anthony Kalin's personal journey is a catalyst for creating this organization. Being diagnosed with autism at just 9 months old, Kalin's speech did not become fully developed until he was 3, and he couldn't walk until he was 7. In 2018, Kalin made history by being recruited by the Kent State men's basketball program and accepted a scholarship to attend school there. 00:03:08:26 - 00:03:33:05 Anthony This fall, Kalin decided to transfer to Morehouse College and is now part of the men's basketball team there. So thank you for joining us, Kalin. And lastly, meet Jamie Craig, the associate director of Enterprise Applications for the University of Pittsburgh's IT Department. He participates in multiple working groups and committees, including the University Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Working Group. 00:03:34:18 - 00:04:00:02 Anthony Pitt's, IT Diversity Equality and Inclusion Team and the University Transgender Working Group. Obviously not enough time in the day for Jamie. With the help of CAI Neurodiverse Solutions, Jamie initiated Pitt's IT first Neurodiverse team to increase automated testing, and we are all excited about that. Welcome, Jamie. And thank you all for being here with us today. 00:04:00:03 - 00:04:34:21 Anthony So we're going to actually get started with our first question. So everyone who enrolls in college has a different experience. Mine's different than doctor Bruyere's, is different than Kalin's. However, for members of the neurodiverse community, the process of applying for and attending college, graduating, beginning a career, can be somewhat daunting. And here comes the factoid. According to the University of Connecticut Center for Neurodiversity and Employment Innovation, unemployment for neurodivergent adults runs at least as high as 30 to 40 percent. 00:04:35:08 - 00:05:04:20 Anthony So in this hour long discussion, our guests, who each come from a different angle in higher education and neurodiversity, are going to share their insights. We're going to talk about the experience of neurodivergent students on college campuses, why universities are doing to ensure success of neurodivergent students, and how universities can help prepare the future workforce to create a neurodiverse inclusive workplace and real life experiences supporting a neurodiversity employment program within a university. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: How did you begin teaching about neurodiversity employment? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of Susanne M. Bruyere, PhD, CRC, with her creditials. Top right of the slide features video of Susanne speaking.] 00:05:05:02 - 00:05:34:01 Anthony So first question to Suzanne. So without further ado. You know, there's something unique about the role of higher education institutions in that professors and staff can set up neurodivergent individuals for success as students. Then by helping companies to continue support the same students as future colleagues. This is only possible, though, with a neurodiversity employment program in place, which is Dr. Bruyere's specialty. 00:05:34:07 - 00:05:41:29 Anthony So, Dr. Bruyere, can you share with us a bit about how you got into teaching about neurodiversity employment? 00:05:43:06 - 00:06:13:14 Susanne Bruyere Yes. Thank you for that question, Anthony. I'd be happy to do so. So I'm at Cornell University as Anthony introduced, and here I am located in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the ILR School, which is a college for the workplace. And my teaching is with within the Department of Human Resource Studies and in that we have a disability studies sequence in which I have two courses that are focused on workplace inclusion. 00:06:13:24 - 00:06:40:03 Susanne And the first course has been in existence for about 10 years now. It's called Disability Considerations in HR Practice. But because of the growing interest in neurodiversity, in the private sector in the last 5 to 7 years, we've created another course just focused on what companies can do to affirmatively recruit, hire, retain, and advance individuals who are neurodiverse. 00:06:40:14 - 00:07:18:29 Susanne It's called workplace Inclusion Innovations and Initiatives, with a focus on autism, and we include recruitment, screening, selection, orientation, on the job preparation of both the supervisors and workforce training more broadly. So it's very broad brush. And we also, in an effort to give the students some real world practice, have created internships. You know, Anthony, because you supported our students in that, in a 16 week full time residency with a company where they can learn from how to recruit all the way through 00:07:18:29 - 00:07:47:01 Susanne what do we do to build a workplace inclusive environment. That's really moved the needle for our students who are human resource professionals in the future, many of them. And understanding why companies would be so interested in and affirmatively recruiting and what they've learned over these 5 years. We've worked with more seasoned companies, like JPMorgan Chase and IBM, Microsoft, SAP and Hewlett-Packard, 00:07:47:11 - 00:08:07:22 Susanne EY. And those companies have iterated over this time to really develop very robust programs and learn from their mistakes so our students have the advantage of being able to be placed there. So we see this as a way to prepare the supervisors and HR professionals of the future in how to be more neurodiversity inclusive. 00:08:08:23 - 00:08:43:12 Anthony Yeah, I think, you know, it's been my privilege over the past 3, 4 years to to go to Cornell and and teach or lecture for a little bit about this. And I think what I find is that, you know, the students are very engaged. The students may have a personal interest in this, whether it's a brother, sister, cousin, uncle, aunt who may be on the spectrum or is neurodivergent themselves. 00:08:44:02 - 00:09:06:25 Anthony And you see the eyes light up, like, how can I take this nugget of information, and when I'm out into the world doing my thing, how can I employ what I'm learning here into my new firm, company, whatever that is? And I think by the end of the conversation, I've had more students come up to me and say, "Hey, thanks, You know, I appreciate that. 00:09:07:21 - 00:09:26:23 Anthony I'm going to take some of this and go back and see how that kind of equals out and values into my own personal life, for one. But how I can kind of promote this where I'm going." So, you know, it's a it's a privilege to be able to to talk to the students about that. You get more out of it than what you put into it, that's for sure. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: What is your day-to-day like working with a neurodiverse team at the University of Pittsburgh? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of James (Jamie) Craig, with his creditials. Top right of the slide features video of James (Jamie) speaking.] 00:09:27:20 - 00:09:52:08 Anthony So thank you for allowing me to do that every year. And so I think I'm going to switch to Jamie here real quick. So, you know, the value of teaching this information to the future workforce of students is is priceless, obviously. So Jamie is a colleague who's currently working with the neurodiverse team at the University of Pittsburgh. What what is your day to day like? 00:09:52:08 - 00:09:59:05 Anthony That's, you know, kind of the question. But if you could share us, share with us a bit about how you work together. 00:09:59:22 - 00:10:20:16 James (Jamie) Craig Absolutely. It's it's really it's similar to any or any of our development groups. I mean, it's really like any agile environment I've worked in over the years. You know, we have our daily stand ups to review progress. We set our expectations for the day and bring up any concerns or blockers. Now, with this group, we did start with a little bit more structure around our sprints. 00:10:20:16 - 00:10:40:29 James (Jamie) You know, we were assigning the work out instead of relying on team members to choose their own tasks. But as we progress, the team and the team's gotten more comfortable, they started to pull tasks for the day for themselves. So while the initial sprints were a little more time consuming, we've seen an acceleration in completed tasks as we've as we've gone along. 00:10:41:08 - 00:10:47:00 James (Jamie) Once everyone's settled in, there really isn't much difference between that or any of our other development teams that we work with. 00:10:48:13 - 00:11:03:13 Anthony So with that, you know, obviously, you know, the ramp up is just a touch more but the return that you're seeing at the University of Pittsburgh, is what you're saying is obviously profound at this point? 00:11:04:01 - 00:11:29:22 James (Jamie) Absolutely. They're the guys on the team are extremely eager and it's great to see. It was very exciting when they first came on board, because they, not just when they first came on board, but it's been very exciting to see them, you know, really jump into it. They were really eager to learn what they could and contribute in any way they possible that they could. 00:11:29:22 - 00:11:32:25 James (Jamie) So it's been a great, it was a very short learning curve. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: What has your experience been like so far as a neurodivergent student on campus? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of Kalin Bennett, with his creditials. Top right of the slide features video of Kalin speaking.] 00:11:34:09 - 00:11:58:24 Anthony That's amazing, actually. I mean, you know, CAI Neurodiverse Solutions is honored to collaborate with you on this great work. So, you know, obviously continued success. But we'll get to some more questions. I think, in a in a minute for you, Jamie. And so, you know, Kalin, it's important to spread awareness of these types of opportunities. 00:11:59:03 - 00:12:08:20 Anthony And as a current college student, are you able to share with us what your experience so far has been like as a neurodivergent student on campus? 00:12:09:21 - 00:12:43:00 Kalin Of course, being neurodivergent on a college campus is very different than a normal or a typical college experience, especially being an athlete. Whereas you got to do stuff more than the average person. Not saying like, "Oh yeah, work harder." Obviously you do. But when it comes to somebody who's neurodiverse, you got to be able to be repetitious with what you do and what you want to do. And especially me going to a HBCU. And we don't really have a lot of resources, just like a Cornell or Pitt, some of those great illustrious programs. 00:12:43:13 - 00:13:09:21 Kalin So being who I am, I have to do things 10 times more than this person, whether that's studying, whether that's reading, whether that's going on the court, if I say I got to do this 10 times, I probably got to do it maybe 20 or maybe 30 more times. So it's been it's been a little difficult, but at the same time, I really relish the, I really cherish all the moments that I went through because it made me the person I am today. 00:13:10:25 - 00:13:34:16 Anthony So that's, obviously that's incredible, and I'm impressed. But I think I'm more impressed with, we were chatting a little bit before, and Kalin, you were telling myself and a couple other folks that, you know, you work out two times day and sometimes three. So listen, I can't work at one time a day. You're doing it three. 00:13:34:16 - 00:13:58:19 Anthony I'm impressed all about that. But that's another thing, though, Kalin, right. So, you got to get your workouts in, then you got to do your schoolwork, then then you got life as well. So I think, like, maybe the follow up question is, you know, how do you think universities could better prepare neurodivergent students for success post-graduation because you're almost there. 00:13:59:16 - 00:14:18:25 Kalin So going back what Ms. Susanne said, who has programs that are built and put in place to help neurodivergent students get ready for the next level, I feel like there should be programs in place, you know, for their major as well, because some might want to be in a psychological field, some might want to be in a sports field. 00:14:18:25 - 00:14:46:06 Kalin I feel like being able to put students like that in real-time interviews and letting them go over or have somebody go over with them and talk to them about these certain situations that they might run into in these different fields or whatever they want to, whatever they want to do in their life. I feel like those are important because it will start making these different companies and different people notice how much work they're putting in and how well prepared they are. 00:14:46:19 - 00:14:56:18 Kalin And now they have no choice but to pay attention to these neurodivergent students. They're like, "Wow, they're doing this better than we can." 00:14:56:18 - 00:15:36:02 Anthony And in some instances that is absolutely accurate. You know, and I appreciate the candid response from you, Kalin, because, you know, we want to know how to do it better, how to get it to be quicker to these companies, and let them understand, you know, the value of the talent of neurodivergency. So I'm going to kind of, I'm going to switch back to Dr. Bruyere. So you've dedicated your work to preparing the future workforce in the workplace for neurodivergent people, which is just as important as setting up neurodivergent students for success. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: How can universities prepare their students, the future workforce, to create neurodiversity-inclusive workplaces as they move forward into life as adults? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of Susanne M. Bruyere, PhD, CRC, with her creditials. Top right of the slide features video of Susanne speaking.] 00:15:36:29 - 00:15:51:16 Anthony I'd love to hear your thoughts on how universities could prepare their students, the future workforce, to create neurodiverse inclusive workplaces as they move forward into life as adults. 00:15:51:16 - 00:16:35:12 Susanne Absolutely. I, you know, my my job is not necessarily to directly support the students. Ah, we do have career counselors who do that and the Students with Disabilities Services Office. But our efforts are really to provide instruction. And so I have been trying to shape in that this more inclusive headset. So I think the first thing we can do, however, is to get students in the front door, to create more inclusive recruitment and selection processes for students, because having students who are neurodiverse who are in our classrooms is one way to build more inclusive environments. 00:16:35:12 - 00:17:06:00 Susanne That exposure, that experience, giving them an opportunity to be in environments like Cornell's is really important. So getting that right is a part of what universities can do. And then once students get in, as Kalin was suggesting, making sure the supports are available to them, that students can feel comfortable saying "this is what I need to succeed," and we're affording them those kinds of opportunities to get those supports. 00:17:07:11 - 00:17:34:14 Susanne What I focus on is is preparing workforce agents for the future, right, by designing courses that talk about inclusion. But that needs to be threaded throughout all instruction. I think we can talk about building inclusive environments in every industry, every discipline, and ours is unique because we are building human resource professionals for the future who can influence work environments. 00:17:34:27 - 00:17:58:26 Susanne But business schools could be doing it, and should be doing it, for the supervisors and managers of the future. But we attract students to our courses of every kind of discipline and as you said, because you've experienced it, Anthony, people are doing it for their own well-being because they have identified as neurodiverse or they might have a sibling. 00:17:59:08 - 00:18:38:06 Susanne And that kind of awareness raising in every discipline, every future participant, in different industries, is really important to bring change. And I think universities also could be helpful in that we have student associations creating opportunities like we do with employee assistance programs or employee BRGs support programs for different types of people in the work environment. Let the students organize themselves around neurodiversity, identification and afford them opportunities for leadership and self advocacy opportunities. 00:18:38:06 - 00:18:52:12 Susanne We should be building that into the way we support students in this academic environment. So those are all that different ways we could make a difference for students and their ability to be successful in the future. 00:18:53:04 - 00:19:23:15 Anthony Yeah, and I think the parallel between the ERGs and BRGs, you know, employment research groups and business resource groups, to having the associations on campus for a similar facet would be outstanding. I'm sure you hear and there that's probably sprinkled in across the country, but I think it needs to be more prevalent and you know wouldn't it be great if there was an overarching chapter for for all the colleges and universities across the U.S. to be able to do that? 00:19:24:03 - 00:19:30:14 Anthony I think that would be awesome. So, Susanne, we need to start one then. 00:19:31:05 - 00:19:31:21 Susanne All right. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: What was the process like setting up and launching a neurodiversity employment program at the University of Pittsburgh? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of James (Jamie) Craig, with his creditials. Top right of the slide features video of James (Jamie) speaking.] 00:19:33:04 - 00:19:44:16 Anthony [Laughs heartily] So Jamie, on that same front, what was a process like setting up and launching a neurodiversity employment program within your IT department at the University of Pittsburgh? 00:19:44:16 - 00:20:09:28 James (Jamie) [Coughs] Excuse me. Pitt's always looking to expand the diversity of our hires, and I'd already noted that IT had a gap in our automated testing routines. So when the idea of getting a team of highly detailed individuals, that they also expanded the diversity, you know, it was a win, win. It was really, from my perspective, it was a really easy proposal to make. 00:20:11:22 - 00:20:26:04 Anthony So the ease of proposal, which is awesome! In what ways has that, you know, integrating the neurodiverse team, improved the workplace, whether it's culture, whatever it may be? 00:20:26:17 - 00:20:47:08 James (Jamie) I mentioned already, these guys are very eager and enthusiastic when they came in and that resonates. It's important because like every institution or any company, you know, we seem to have more work than we can really accomplish. So it's important that we bring in people who are interested in the work and it's not just a job. 00:20:47:29 - 00:21:08:26 James (Jamie) The big thing is having misses is extremely costly. So this success that we've had, and right now I'm really in the process of compiling more detailed results, it's shown the returns that we can get from a program like this. And everything we've seen so far has been excellent. 00:21:09:22 - 00:21:36:04 Anthony Yeah. And I think the other piece to that would be, you know, you're also providing that rewarding career for individuals who may not have had that opportunity otherwise. Right. So, you know, if you've got a team of 4 or 6, obviously, you know, we would hope that those 4 to 6 individuals would have great rewarding careers. But we know that that's not the case at the moment. 00:21:36:04 - 00:21:56:11 Anthony We're trying to get there. So I think, obviously, we appreciate the University of Pittsburgh doing this, but know that you're going kind of above and beyond by hiring these talented individuals and showing them the way of independence. And all the other good things that come along with that. Personally, I think that's incredible. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: What has your experience been like playing basketball in college and disclosing your autism diagnosis with your teams? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of Kalin Bennett, with his creditials. Top right of the slide features video of Kalin speaking.] 00:21:56:11 - 00:22:33:10 Anthony I know many others watching this think it is as well, so I appreciate that. Kalin, going back to you, buddy. You know, as a student athlete, you've been open about being on the spectrum and sometimes joining a sports team is kind of similar to joining a new team at a company. You're going to spend a lot of time with them as you're working towards this common goal. What's your experience been like playing basketball and then also disclosing your autism diagnosis with your team, coaches? 00:22:35:00 - 00:22:53:04 Kalin So I'm gonna have to go back in time real quick for this one. I remember I was in academics plus and there was this third grade basketball team. They ran out. They had a big old pep rally for the elementary school, and they came out of there cheering and they're cheering on these kids. Everybody know everybody's name. 00:22:53:16 - 00:23:12:29 Kalin And for some reason I got up. For some reason I wanted to go up there with them. They're like, "you're not on the basketball team." So I went home to my dad. I said, "dad, mom, I want to play basketball." They said, "You sure? Like you sure you want to do this?" Because again, I'm different from regular kids. 00:23:12:29 - 00:23:35:04 Kalin So, like, they were really hesitant about it until I started showing, like, real interest in it and the benefits it had for me. And so I started joining an AAU program called the Arkansas Hawks, located in lower Arkansas with coach Kevin Howard. And yeah, there were some bumps and bruises. It was some really, really hard time. But I really grew out of my shell. 00:23:35:27 - 00:24:01:29 Kalin I started being more open. I started being more positive. I started just loving, being able to play basketball because it was a form of communication for me. So being able to be around my teammates, they treated me no different than anybody. When we were on the court, they treat me no different than anybody. And so when I went to Missouri, I want to Link Year Prep with Adam Gonyea. 00:24:03:05 - 00:24:26:10 Kalin That was a time where I was trying to find myself a little bit because I just graduated high school, and I haven't committed to any colleges yet. So I was getting ready to commit to a college, and then once I committed, I was like, you know what, maybe I might help somebody today. I don't know. Maybe I'll just tell everybody that I'm on the autism spectrum. 00:24:26:12 - 00:24:47:04 Kalin I was like, nobody knows, I mean. So I told my story and it blew up and went everywhere. I was not expecting it one bit. I was just expecting like what a good job, Kalin. Thank you for telling us your testimony. The next day is just so many kids saying like, "hey, I'm the same." 00:24:47:13 - 00:25:07:07 Kalin I go through the same thing. It's hard for me too but seeing you inspires me to do more. And so when I got to college, my teammates treated me same thing, no different than anybody. We became close friends to this day. Even when I transfered from Kent State, I'm close with all my teammates to this day. 00:25:07:23 - 00:25:30:20 Kalin Now I'm at Morehouse, a HBCU, its still no different. The coaches push me, my teammates push me. They're no holds barred when it comes to me. They know how talented I am, who I have potential of being. And they don't want nothing to stop me from getting to where I need to be. So this experience has been nothing short of awesome. 00:25:31:13 - 00:25:57:27 Anthony Yeah, you've generated a lot of media attention by doing that. But more than the media attention, you know, the media attention is one thing. You've helped so many other young people, and I'm sure some adults as well, come out and say, "hey listen, I'm neurodivergent, this is what my diagnosis is. 00:25:59:08 - 00:26:05:19 Anthony Giving that piece of feedback opens up a different world, right? 00:26:06:12 - 00:26:06:17 Kalin Universe. 00:26:07:01 - 00:26:34:04 Anthony Yep. I'm neurodivergent as well, so I understand when one person says it, and you are inspiring, but then you're inspiring, but giving aspiration to others to do just as well as you have. So I applaud you. I give you kudos for that. I know we're all going to be watching Morehouse and seeing what the scoreline is for you. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: Over the years teaching your neurodiversity employment course, do you feel as a workforce, we've pivoted toward being more inclusive than say 5 years ago? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of Susanne M. Bruyere, PhD, CRC, with her creditials. Top right of the slide features video of Susanne speaking.] 00:26:34:11 - 00:27:09:28 Anthony So I appreciate that. We're going to come back to you in a little bit. I'm going to flip back to Dr. Bruyere. So obviously, we've talked about your teaching efforts and all the students and the people who go through your program and come out on the other side as wonderful human beings. But as you taught the employment course, do you feel as a workforce we've pivoted to being more inclusive than, say, 5 years ago? 00:27:09:28 - 00:27:40:09 Susanne You know, I think we have Anthony, we the numbers probably don't don't reflect it as much as what I experience it more anecdotally and as I observe the practices of leading companies who are really making a concerted effort to make a change in the big picture, a number of things are helping us to encourage that. One is there have been regulatory changes in the last five years. 00:27:41:00 - 00:28:14:21 Susanne There's a federal initiative that has been iteratively building over the years, and reaffirmed in the last year to have a 12% of the federal workforce, which is the largest employer in the United States, be people with disabilities. Neurodiversity has definitely been a part of that. And for federal contractors, that are about a quarter of the American workforce in terms of numbers of workers, there's a 7% aspirational goal for federal contractors of $10,000 or more. 00:28:15:04 - 00:28:46:12 Susanne So there have been those regulatory frameworks to raise awareness. But but what I'm most encouraged about is that many employers, and I named some of the leaders in the neurodiversity area, but there are certainly many more now as well have really recognized that they're leaving talent on the table. And that they really need to open their minds about who is a viable candidate and create processes that help people get through the net that were needlessly kept out in the past. 00:28:46:26 - 00:29:10:08 Susanne You know, look at how are you recruiting. How are you framing your advertising? How are you representing yourself as an organization that really wants neurodiverse people in your workforce, and the changes that you need to make to get people through the front door, and the supports once they get in there, to help them to succeed. I do see companies doing that. 00:29:10:08 - 00:29:33:26 Susanne I do see companies needing support and help to do that as well. Many of them, I think, really want to get there and they don't know how. So I think programs like this is really important. The supports that CAI gives companies are important because there's increasingly a lot of interest to tap this talent pool. So I'm very encouraged. 00:29:33:26 - 00:29:46:14 Susanne I think we have a lot of reason to move in this direction. And in the last 2 years since the pandemic, we know companies are crying for talent. So this is a way to respond to that need. 00:29:47:13 - 00:30:15:19 Anthony Yeah, and I think the need has shifted from onsite, to hybrid, to remote. And, maybe we'll see a change the other way, but for companies, it's opening up the untapped talent pool across the country. So if you're in Oregon, you could be working in a New York City company. So obviously, that's quite good. 00:30:15:19 - 00:30:28:10 Anthony We want that. But what's the one piece of advice that you have for companies that are trying to be more inclusive and want to someday launch a neurodiversity employment program? 00:30:28:10 - 00:31:00:24 Susanne You know, I would say there certainly are many good practices, and we should look across the employment process. But the one I always start with, because our research has shown that if you have internships for people of difference, people with disabilities, people who are neurodiverse as we're showcasing here, you are six times more likely to have successfully hired a person in that group that you're looking for if you have internships focused on that population. 00:31:01:11 - 00:31:25:02 Susanne So I always suggest to employers to consider internships. Many of them are doing them already. They're just not affirmatively recruiting neurodiverse individuals. And it's a win win because it affords the individual an opportunity to get work experience and get that on their resume, which they might not otherwise have an opportunity to do. But it also changes the culture of the workplace. 00:31:25:02 - 00:31:52:05 Susanne It helps supervisors feel more confident that they can effectively supervise people, where they might have been intimidated previously if they know a candidate is neurodiverse, and it gives them an opportunity to see the person excel, achieve, and to mitigate their own anxieties about being able to be effective as a supervisor in that kind of a role. So I think internships are a great place to start. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Question: What advice would you have for universities considering implementing a neurodiversity employment program, specifically on preparing your workplace for this transition and successfully launching the program? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of James (Jamie) Craig, with his creditials. Top right of the slide features video of James (Jamie) speaking.] 00:31:52:21 - 00:32:17:26 Anthony Yeah, I would agree. And I'm sure Kalin and Jamie agree as well. And I think Jamie, to universities out there who are considering a neurodiversity employment program for their staff, what advice would you have regarding prepping your workplace for this transition and successfully launching the program, as you have done? 00:32:18:25 - 00:32:37:23 James (Jamie) I would say, to expect a little bit more of upfront time costs and really look to show the value of the program. There are some upfront costs in terms of setting up the teams and preparing the goals. And I would say that it's really not that far from anything you would do with any new team that you're bringing on board. 00:32:38:10 - 00:32:58:15 James (Jamie) You're just making it a little more structured. The big thing is to have goals that focus on measurables, and we say that we always want measurable goals, but in this case it's important to show the return on investment. A great example is, as you mentioned in our intros, our team that we brought in is focused on testing automation. 00:32:59:11 - 00:33:24:02 James (Jamie) One of our big wins has been a test suite that we had for one of our products that to go through manually took between 3 and 4 hours. So it was only done at major releases. We've since automated that fully with this team. Now we run it daily. It's scheduled to run and it takes 15 minutes for somebody to review the logs, as opposed to someone sitting there manually for 3 hours. 00:33:24:09 - 00:33:43:17 James (Jamie) That's huge. That right there just about justifies everything we've done for the program. So it's, as I said, my big things are prepare a little bit of upfront costs and really look to show the return on the investment. And if you want to talk, I'm always available to to help in any way I can. 00:33:43:17 - 00:34:13:01 Anthony And I think you made a good point on the value of the program itself. Obviously the costs are negated after you're showing the return on investment. But again, whatever you're talking about from an upfront piece, you're also, you know, the individuals who are working with you. The culture starts to change a little bit. And I'm sure you've seen it a little bit at the University of Pittsburgh. 00:34:13:01 - 00:34:38:14 Anthony Right? So everybody's looking at somebody who may think differently or getting ideas off of that, right? And saying, oh, I didn't think we could do it that way. But wow, that's amazing that you thought to go that route versus this route. Those things are immeasurable from from a cost perspective, right? You're changing minds and hearts at that point. [Question slide. Photo background featuring the question in white at the top. Questions: What are your goals for after graduation? Do you feel set up for success to establish a career after college? At the bottom of the slide is a headshot of Kalin Bennett, with his creditials. Top right of the slide features video of Kalin speaking.] 00:34:38:14 - 00:35:08:06 Anthony So people have a perception you blow that out of the water with the the amazing talent that you guys are providing to University of Pittsburgh. And so Kalin, switching gears here from from your biography, we learn that you're studying sports broadcast journalism and mathematics. [Stumbles over words] And I can't speak obviously. That's quite the combo. So I'm going to ask you a couple of different questions here. 00:35:08:07 - 00:35:24:26 Anthony We're going to start with the first one, what your goals after graduation? I know that I was a broadcast journalism major myself, but, you know, obviously, you see what I'm doing today. 00:35:24:26 - 00:35:51:01 Kalin My goals for after college is. obviously. for one to play in, play pro in the NBA. That's always a competitor who plays basketball's dream. But also my other goal is, it's kind of from another point of view, is that hopefully the actions that I take, anything I do outside 'cause, whether that's go the sports broadcasting route, which I really want to do. 00:35:51:13 - 00:36:14:06 Kalin I hope that opens opportunities for people who are neurodivergent just like me. To be able to just see that it's possible to pursue these different avenues and different goals, and they are available to everybody. So really just continue to be Kalin, and then be able to achieve those goals, and just have fun while doing it. 00:36:15:06 - 00:36:30:13 Anthony Yeah, so fun is always a good thing, especially when you're in college. Do you feel like you're getting to a point where you feel that you're set up for success to establish a career after college? 00:36:31:16 - 00:36:52:03 Kalin I feel as if I am, especially with the people that are around me. And that's actually really important too, forgot to touch base on that. I feel as if to be able to develop, you have to have a really good amount of people who have nothing but love and your best interests at heart in mind too. 00:36:52:18 - 00:37:11:13 Kalin And those are the people that's going to help you get to where you need to be. So I feel as if, with the people that are around me, I definitely feel set up for success. I definitely feel as if, that the sky's the limit, and my circle, and the people that I continue to meet just continually grows, and it just gets better. 00:37:12:21 - 00:37:46:15 Anthony Yeah. And I'm impressed with the support circle that that you have. I know your mom is heavily involved, and you have some other folks who are are making sure that the tasks are completed per se. But I do want you to have fun at college too. And so last question for you, Kalin. How do you think accessibility to neurodiversity employment programs at universities could influence the future of, let's say, incoming students? 00:37:47:24 - 00:38:09:08 Kalin I feel as if it will make them see that there's more opportunity. I feel like I'm kind of repeating myself, but I mean it's all connected. I feel as if it would show them that there's a lot in store for them than they know. So being able to, by all these different companies who wants to employ this person, see that they're in this field. 00:38:09:15 - 00:38:44:22 Kalin Again, going back to what we were talking earlier, about being able to really ready these neurodivergent students and care for what they want to do. I feel as if it would make it easier and more, I would say normal, to have the neurodivergent kids having jobs, being employed, maybe being the owner of something one day. And I feel as if that opportunity itself would just continuously pull kids and pull people towards that direction. 00:38:44:22 - 00:39:05:02 Anthony Yeah, we definitely need to get you an internship at the NBA. You know, if you're going to play in the NBA, that's awesome. But then you got to prepare for the life after the NBA, right? So now we're going to take all of the things that you study for in college and put them all into one. [Audience Q&A slide] 00:39:05:28 - 00:39:34:11 Anthony I love that, Kalin. I appreciate it, buddy. So I think, you know, with all of us here, Dr. Bruyere, Jamie, Kalin, it's been a great discussion. I thank you all for your insightful answers and being so open with your experiences. But now comes the fun part. We've allotted a few minutes for the audience to submit their own questions for all of you today. 00:39:34:11 - 00:39:59:15 Anthony And we got a couple. So I think the first one, Dr. Bruyere, I think we might come to you, but anybody can chime in. And the question is, how do I become educated on hiring neurodiverse employees and promoting the hiring throughout my company? 00:39:59:15 - 00:40:29:02 Susanne Well, I think there is an increasing number of courses now available as professional development out there. Cornell does offer them. We offer courses through eCornell. We have a course on autism at work. So that's certainly one solution, but there are many. I think if you Google, you're going to find a number of different places where you can learn about it. 00:40:29:15 - 00:40:59:24 Susanne I think you can also just think through the employment process if you are already in the workforce. If you're a human resource professional and just trying to think about neurodiversity, I think thinking about inclusion broadly and what you're doing for other populations, and making sure that neurodiversity gets threaded through that, is a really important start. Don't discount that you already have a lot of knowledge. 00:40:59:24 - 00:41:23:19 Susanne It's just thinking about neurodiversity as a part of that inclusive approach. That's really important. Don't make it so special that it becomes, it stops you from just beginning to build that inclusion throughout the employment process. Hopefully, you're in a position where you're able to do that and start someplace. Don't let it overwhelm you. 00:41:24:18 - 00:41:59:09 Anthony Yeah. And from my perspective on that, CAI Neurodiverse Solutions has been doing this for for quite some time, 10 years or so. And I think we've found a good way to implement programs, build the infrastructure, understand the recruitment that it takes. And we have 500 partners throughout the country that we can kind of tap into for some of that talent as well. 00:41:59:09 - 00:42:03:07 Anthony So you're more than welcome to to reach out to us as well. 00:42:03:19 - 00:42:25:27 Susanne And webinars like you're doing today, Anthony. Really! If people take the time to get in on these opportunities for learning, it's terrific and I'm sure you will have, if you can promote some of the other sequence of webinars you're offering, it's a great way for people to get an initial introduction to the education that they are looking for. 00:42:25:27 - 00:43:02:12 Anthony Well, that's great. Thank you for the promo opportunity there. I appreciate that. And I think we have a couple other questions. And again, this is probably both for Jamie and Dr. Bruyere. How can you get help for a student on campus when the diversity department is nonexistent? I mean, there's a lot to be said there, but whoever wants to take that one, or I can jump in as necessary as well. 00:43:02:12 - 00:43:32:04 Jamie I honestly, I would say that typically you have some level of diversity and inclusion office on campus. On all campuses. Now, whether it's specifically for where they have an area for neurodiversity is a completely different topic. But, I would suggest approaching any diversity and inclusion office that you have on campus with concerns or questions they're usually very helpful. 00:43:32:04 - 00:43:39:04 Jamie And they want to do what they can for you. So I would bring it up without hesitation. 00:43:42:01 - 00:44:09:18 Susanne And I would say, often I think people who are neurodiverse do not, or may not, identify as a person with a disability. But students with disabilities services offices, and most campuses have them, should be equipped to deal with all kinds of differences and learning, have learning tools, and be able to be advocates for assistance in the classroom. 00:44:09:29 - 00:44:42:22 Susanne So I would say explore all of the supports within the university context, where they're at DEI offices targeting students, or students with disabilities services, and sometimes career counselors can even be helpful to you. Although they may not be necessarily really schooled in the area of neurodiversity, it's important to use all the resources on the campus to get where you need to get. 00:44:43:11 - 00:45:03:11 Anthony Agreed wholeheartedly. And I think there is a few more questions. So, Dr. Bruyere, do you have any success stories of past students who are inspired by your course, and who either helped launch a neurodiversity employment program, or are part of one now after graduation? 00:45:05:05 - 00:45:44:26 Susanne Well, I would say almost every student that goes through that, probably every student that goes through our internship sequence, really would very much after that would like to get a job that affords them an opportunity to work in this area. Some of them are moving into that, but there are not near enough offices, like some of the programs that are so outstanding that I've talked about, that they get the opportunity to internship. And there are not as many companies who have these niched opportunities so the students aspire to them and don't always get into them. 00:45:44:26 - 00:46:20:07 Susanne But there certainly have been students that over time, those that have been out there a little bit longer, who earned their stripes in other positions and get into a place where they've been able to influence and do reach back to us. And so that's very gratifying. I'm not at liberty to talk about particular organizations, or give names of particular students, but I can say that the exposure, like we make a concerted effort to give to students on campus, does light a fire and does make them pursue these kinds of initiatives within organizations. 00:46:20:07 - 00:46:29:07 Susanne So it does make a difference. And I can see them reaching back to get the resources they need to infuse that into the work they're doing in their settings. 00:46:30:12 - 00:47:01:05 Anthony Gotcha. Listen, in my previous life, I had 6 Cornell interns over a number of years, and all of them still do keep in touch with me. So anybody who's from an employer looking to start a program, or has an existing program, I can't say enough good things about what Dr. Bruyere is doing there to prepare the students, and it is a worthwhile program. 00:47:01:17 - 00:47:22:28 Anthony Internships definitely do help kind of proliferate the message, but it also opens the eyes for the young adults. So thank you to those 6 individuals. They were awesome. And Jamie, what's your favorite memory so far since launching the neurodiversity employment program? 00:47:23:28 - 00:47:46:03 James (Jamie) I would probably say just the first couple of sprints. I know I've mentioned it a couple of times about how enthusiastic the team was when we brought them on, and I think the best example of that is the first couple of sprints. We woefully underestimated the amount of work they'd be able to accomplish. We tried to go into it slow, to take it steady, make sure we weren't overwhelming anyone. 00:47:46:23 - 00:48:07:29 James (Jamie) And, a two week sprint, about halfway through, they were just about done with everything we had assigned. So it was at that point where we thought, okay, well, we need to readjust our thinking here. And really, it was kind of a light bulb went off on how much we could really accomplish with this team over the course of the year. 00:48:07:29 - 00:48:14:06 James (Jamie) So I think it was that those first sprints and that first aha moment that I had. 00:48:14:29 - 00:48:39:01 Anthony That's awesome. The aha moments seem to come frequently as you develop programs like these. I think that when you're looking at neurodivergent individuals, the thinking pattern may be different and the ahas just become aha, aha, aha, aha all the way down the line. So I appreciate that you're able to see those those moments as well. 00:48:39:16 - 00:48:53:07 Anthony And Kalin, so I know I promised you I wasn't going to ask you a question, but there's one person who's pretty darn close to you that has a question. Can you guess who that person is? 00:48:53:17 - 00:48:54:00 Kalin My mom. 00:48:54:17 - 00:48:55:10 Anthony Yeah, you got it. 00:48:56:00 - 00:48:56:09 Anthony All right. 00:48:56:27 - 00:49:12:29 Anthony So your mom asks: Kalin, how can you get coaches to understand that it's important to not only coach Kalin the athlete, but Kalin the athlete on the spectrum. 00:49:12:29 - 00:49:16:25 Kalin That is the most amazing question that she asked! 00:49:16:25 - 00:49:56:12 Kalin I feel as if, okay, me as the neurodiversity kid and the athlete being one person, you gotta understand that you can't treat either one differently than the other. So me in the classroom, it's the same as me in the gym. I approach it the same, you approach it the same. And just me being Kalin, and introducing them to this new environment, that there are people out there who learn and stimulate things differently, and help them understand and study these things. 00:49:57:01 - 00:50:23:05 Kalin Because there's a lot of athletes out there who don't want to speak on their diagnosis or say they're neurodivergent. So being able to understand these things make it easier for the recruit or the athlete. That way it won't feel like they have something they want to say, but they can't say it. That way it makes it easier for the coach or the people around them because they're like, okay, cool, 00:50:23:26 - 00:50:43:16 Kalin now I can coach them differently or push them this way or say it this way. That way it will click in his mind. That's what I'm saying. Or there may be a key word that I understand more than everybody else, or everybody else know, the same as I do. And once that keyword is said, okay, it's time to go. 00:50:44:09 - 00:50:50:29 Kalin It's all a part of making a system that works. 00:50:52:24 - 00:50:58:04 Anthony I agree. So you're pretty much coaching the coach at that point. 00:50:58:20 - 00:51:25:13 Kalin And, like, as much as I'm different from everybody else, I try my best to compete as much as everybody else on the floor, compete as everybody in the classroom. Because again, we all want to be successful. We all want to win in some way, shape, or form. But understanding who you're around, especially we were just talking about the internships 00:51:25:13 - 00:51:38:24 Speaker 4 and hiring, being able to understand who is a part of your staff, who is a part of your team, who is a part of your inner circle, makes it easier for you to work and makes the plan that much easier to accomplish and execute. 00:51:39:29 - 00:52:07:00 Anthony Well said my friend. I appreciate that response. I know your your mom is is jumping up and down with joy at the way you portrayed that answer, so thank you. I know we are pretty much at time today. I want to thank Dr. Bruyere, Kalin, and Jamie Craig for joining us today and sharing their insight with us. [Presentation conclusing slide. Photo background. In the top left corner is the CAI logo in white with Neurodiverse Solutions Formerly Autism2Word directly beside it. In the top right corner is a small video box containing the closing speaker, Anthony Pacillio with CAI. The title of the webinar is in the bottom of the slide: A CAI Webinar - Neurodiversity and long-term success: College to career. Additional message includes, "Thank you for attending!" and "To learn more, visit www.cai.io/neurodiverse-solutions."]] 00:52:07:22 - 00:52:31:04 Anthony It's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you all today. I had a great time. And I also like to thank everybody watching, listening for your attention and participation as well. And later, we're going to be sending everyone that attended a recording of this event to share with your colleagues and peers. So in the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about CAI 00:52:31:04 - 00:52:48:03 Anthony and our solutions or know someone that is, make sure you go visit our website at CAI.io and fill out that contact form. I want to thank you all for joining us today and make sure that you have a great rest of your day.


Skip past transcript

Contact us

Want to learn more about CAI Neurodiverse Solutions? We'd love to talk.

All fields marked with * are required.

Please correct all errors below.
Please agree to our terms and conditions to continue.

For information about our collection and use of your personal information, our privacy and security practices and your data protection rights, please see our privacy policy and corresponding cookie policy.