Autism Inclusion in the Workplace Panel
October 26, 2023
This panel took place on Thursday, October 12, 2023, with panelists Shea Belsky, Carolyn Jeppsen, Tiffany Jameson, and Lyric Rivera and moderator Chelsea Hartner.
Webinar Description: Panelists discussed how to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for autistic individuals in the workplace. They also shared their personal experiences, which include being an employer or business leader, autistic employee, manager of neurodivergent employees, and collectively, advocates for neurodivergent peers. Through these perspectives, audience members learned how to better support autistic individuals in the workplace. Whether you’re a boss, a colleague, or an autistic individual yourself, viewers leave empowered and confident in their ability to create an inclusive workplace for autistic and neurodivergent colleagues.
Shea Belsky is an autistic self-advocate and changemaker. He is the Chief Technology Officer of Mentra, a hiring platform for neurodivergent jobseekers. He graduated Cornell University with his BS and MPS in Information Science and has worked for companies like Wayfair and HubSpot on their accessibility and neurodiversity inclusion efforts. Shea brings several unique perspectives to supporting neurodivergent colleagues. He has been the manager of neurodivergent and neurotypical employees, has reported to neurodivergent and neurotypical managers, and has advocated for the needs and wellbeing of neurodivergent and neurotypical peers.
Carolyn Jeppsen is the Co-Founder/CEO/President of BroadFutures, a nonprofit committed to empowering young neurodivergent people through a training, mentoring and internship program. She speaks nationally on the benefits of a diverse workforce that is inclusive of disability, as well as the value proposition of internship programs. Carolyn received her B.A. with honors from Colby College, her J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center, and her Certificate of Non-Profit Executive Management from Georgetown University.
Tiffany Payton Jameson, Ph.D., MBA, PHR, spreads her vision passionately through her work with organizations to revise their practices and processes to be inclusive, including refining hiring practices, onboarding, and training programs to be neuro-inclusive and accessible for all learning styles and preferences. Dr. Jameson uses her multi-disciplinary experience currently as the Managing Partner for grit & flow, a purpose-driven consultancy working worldwide, to help further the development of workplaces that support the cognitive diversity of each employee and candidate. Her area of expertise is the field of Neurodivergent studies (neurodiversity), an area covering Autism, ADHD, mental health, and mental illness. Dr. Jameson is continuously seeking organizations to continue research on closing the gap in successful and meaningful work for all.
Lyric Rivera is the founder of NeuroDivergent Consulting and author of the best-selling business ethics book, Workplace Neurodiversity Rising, named “trend for 2023” and praised in Forbes as “an excellent ‘how to manual’ based on lived experience and professional competence.” Lyric also runs the neurodiversity lifestyle blog, NeuroDivergent Rebel, and is known as the pioneer of the #AskingAutistics hashtag, where simple questions prompt open-ended responses that autistic people can quickly chime in with and invites participants to engage each other in conversations related to the topic. This hashtag connects NeuroDiverse people who would not otherwise have a reason to engage with each other and fosters a collective understanding of the autistic experience.
Chelsea Hartner (she/her) is a dedicated leader, neurodivergent advocate, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practitioner. She is an Operations Manager at Getting Hired, supporting the strategic mission to promote and build a more diverse workforce by connecting talent to employers who cultivate inclusive and accommodating environments. Through her work, she aspires to minimize obstacles for people of all diverse identities to have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential in the workplace and find belonging.