At Copperleaf®, embracing neurodiversity and supporting different perspectives and the unique ways in which people process information are important to our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). As a proud partner of Focus Professional Services—a neurodiversity talent agency that connects tech organizations with professionals on the autism spectrum— we’re dedicated to upholding inclusive hiring practices and providing meaningful employment opportunities for the neurodiverse community.
Neurodiversity at Copperleaf is a new employee resource group created by Luiz Lins, Security DevOps Engineer and member of our DE&I team. To support the launch of this new initiative, we invited Heather Linka from Orbital Learning, our neurodiversity inclusion support partner, to lead a session on best practices for supporting neuroinclusion in the workplace.
Heather Linka, Program Manager at Orbital Learning, and Luiz Lins, founder of the Neurodiversity at Copperleaf resource group
Heather shared that even though research shows that neurodiverse individuals may have remarkable cognitive strengths—such as superior problem-solving abilities, great attention to details, and a high degree of perseverance and tenacity—many of them experience barriers to obtaining meaningful work and face high rates of unemployment.
Neurodiverse individuals can perform equal to or better than their peers—up to 140%, which is significant . . . if accommodations are in place, if necessary, and they feel safe in their workplace.
Creating an inclusive environment which allows neurodiverse individuals to thrive and be successful requires employers to be mindful of their communication, management styles, and retention strategies. Heather offered some suggestions, such as adopting a direct communication style, providing ongoing feedback and clear expectations, and providing flexible breaks and a quiet place to recharge.
I wanted to create a community for neurodiversity here at Copperleaf and provide a safe place for people to connect, learn, ask questions, and share information. Through this group, I hope to be an example for others and continue to advocate for, and bring awareness to, neurodiverse individuals in the workplace.
Neurodiversity at Copperleaf
We are thankful to Heather and Luiz for sharing their expertise with us and bringing awareness to autism and neurodiversity. At Copperleaf, we are dedicated to cultivating a workplace where every employee can thrive and leverage their unique strengths. We look forward to creating and supporting future employee resource groups and continuing to build community and belonging at Copperleaf.
Learn more about joining our team, we’d love to hear from you.