Autistica launches new neurodiversity employment drive by House 337

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Creative Agency House 337 and research and campaigning charity Autistica have launched the latest phase of their campaign to boost employment opportunities and support for neurodivergent people.

Through a series of digital out-of-home and social media ads, the campaign will promote the charity’s new Neurodiversity Employers Index – NDEI, a scheme to help organisations implement best practices and double the employment rate for neurodivergent people.

After all, while around one in seven people in the UK are neurodivergent, the ONS finds that people with severe or specific learning difficulties, autistic people, and people with mental health problems have the lowest rates of employment.

Autistica campaign

The campaign directs employers to the Autistica website, where they can sign up for the Employer Index and find out how to tailor the hiring process and work environment to the needs of neurodivergent people.

The Neurodiversity Employers Index (the NDEI) is a gold-standard evidence-based framework that helps organisations to attract and retain neurodivergent talent, make the most of a neurodiverse workforce and become a leader in creating a neurodiversity-friendly workplace. It is being offered free to companies who register now.

Participating organisations will receive a confidential, scored report and a personalised roadmap for change outlining quick wins as well as goals to build and support neurodiverse teams sustainably.

They also have the opportunity to be included in the annual NDEI awards and access a group of employers leading the way in workplace neuro inclusion for networking and knowledge-sharing purposes.

House 337 have signed up as one of the founding companies taking part in the NDEI.

The “Unseen CV” ad campaign promoting the Employer Index is running nationally on donated out-of-home sites secured by Ocean Outdoors and social media from 28 February for five days.

The three executions are illustrated with an empty CV to show that neurodivergent people’s talents are often unseen by employers.

Each ad features Autistica’s web address and a QR code and encourages employers to learn more and register for the NDEI.

Dr James Cusack, Chief Executive at Autistica, the UK’s first openly autistic charity CEO, said: “Too many neurodivergent people’s talents are unseen in job interviews or in the workplace, but small adjustments by employers can help them to perform to the best of their ability and bring diverse ways of thinking into organisations.

“By taking part in the NDEI organisations can learn how to recruit, support and retain neurodiverse teams, but also make the workplace a more inclusive place for everyone, because we all think and work differently.

“Working with House 337 on this important campaign is helping us to get more organisations thinking about neurodiversity, and will hopefully start hundreds of employers on a journey towards becoming more neuro-inclusive.

“We’re thrilled that the agency are also taking part in the NDEI, and understand the value of neurodiverse teams.”

Jo Moore, Executive Creative Director at House 337, added: “At House 337 we are very excited to continue our mission with Autistica to make employment far more accessible for all.

“This simple, thought-provoking campaign using an empty CV illustrates how companies totally miss out on their current working practices.

“Many potential candidates don’t even get considered, or consider themselves, in certain professions because employers don’t realise how they can benefit from neurodivergent people’s skills, and we want to get this message out there for a radical change.

“We need to shift employers’ views on who they hire and how they support staff. Not all neurodivergent people want to be data analysts – what if they want to be fashion designers or journalists?”

House 337 has worked with Autistica for two years to highlight employers’ need to adopt more inclusive working practices for neurodivergent candidates.

The first stage of the campaign, “Hire Different”, ran during World Autism Acceptance Week in March 2023 and shone a light on how the traditional job interview process is stacked against autistic people.