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news • 11 April 2024

Hosted at Escape Studios: Embracing Neurodiversity by Soho Media Club and Screenskills


Second Year 'The Art of Computer Animation (2D)

What was the event? 

Hosted at Escape Studios, Soho Media Club and ScreenSkills collaborated with panellists Matt Holt, Rosanagh Griffiths, Robbie Curran and Zoe Rocha for Neurodiversity Celebration Week to discuss and highlight the importance of neurodivergent individuals working in the creative industry.  

Topics included discussions on inclusion, the current state of the industry for providing support, misconceptions on neurodiversity and changes the industry needs to make for the future to progress with inclusion. The event also included a Q&A session to answer any questions the audience may have. 

How do events like this help shine a light on Neurodiversity? 

Events like these are essential to help destigmatise disabilities and provide recognition on the importance of providing necessary accommodations, especially for neurodiverse people, to allow them to function comfortably in a creative workplace that has been built by neurotypicals.  

The best way to educate those around us, especially in the creative industry, is by sharing how general accommodations can be provided positively. Although individuals often have different needs, it is important to embrace and respect each person’s individual needs.  

Accommodations mentioned by the panellists included: quiet rooms for employees to de-stress when feeling overstimulated, flexible working hours including working from home to suit the body clock of neurodiverse individuals, and things like clearly written tasks with a structured system.  

Each neurodiverse person is different in how they work and think, and that also extends to the accommodations each person may need to comfortably work in their environment and create their best work. No one accommodation is ‘the’ solution for all, no one neurodiverse experience covers all other experiences. By providing accommodations, it gives neurodiverse people an equal opportunity to create work without the regular limitations they face during their day-to-day life. 

My take after the event

This was the second Soho Media Club event I have attended; when listening to these panels I really enjoyed gaining insight into the panellists' experiences, each one had something insightful to say which resonated with me and the audience. One of the subjects covered was masking and the impact it can have on your authentic self and work as a neurotypical. As a late diagnosed autistic person, this has been something I have really struggled with, and I highly value the advice the panellists provided with how to embrace my differences, and self-advocate for the support I require despite the anxiety and lack of education on the subject. It can be tiring self-advocating for my needs, though I really learnt how crucial and deserving myself and other neurodiverse people are to receive the support we need for the long-term benefits in not only the industry, but also day-to-day life.  

While networking and chatting with members, many of us were in relief with the collective thought of “I’m not the only one.” Talking about these subjects in a safe environment free of judgement really helps to open-up and truly put in perspective how many of us are neurodiverse in this industry.  

Learning and discussing how the industry can improve to accommodate neurodiverse people brought a lot of hope for the future to everyone who attended, especially since it started from a rough place of almost no recognition. More progress is being made every year to include those with disabilities and respect everyone's needs.