Happy neurodiversity celebration week!
This week encourages people to challenge stereotypes and celebrate our neurodiversity.
Cary talks about how their neurodivergence has helped them with creating and running the Fair4All Card Scheme.
“I’m autistic and dyslexic, and I’m waiting for an ADHD referral. All of these mean that I approach things in different ways. I look at a problem and ask two questions. One: why is it like that? Two: what can I do to make it better? To me, “because it is” isn’t a good enough answer. If something is a problem and has a clear solution, why can’t we do something about it? And if there’s a problem that doesn’t have a clear solution, why isn’t there?
And that’s where the Fair4All Card comes in. Two years ago this week, the country-wide Covid-19 lockdown began. Five months after that, it was obvious that the effects of Covid were going to last a long time. The problem: people needed to communicate what they needed and were legally entitled to. The solution: Freya came to me with the idea of the Fair4All Card, a simple way for people to explain what they needed as disabled and clinically vulnerable people.
Together we created the Fair4All Card Scheme and ended up with an 11-page document explaining all of our ideas and hopes for how it would work. My neurodivergence helped me come up with questions that needed answering as well as creating new solutions.
Since then, I have been leading our team meetings and my neurodiversity allows me to think of creative new ways to improve the Fair4All Card scheme. I often share new ideas with the team to try and improve the way we run things. It’s got to the point where I have my own place to write down Fair4All ideas because I’ve had a few too many ideas late at night!
I love doing our social media posts. The graphics let me design things and think of new ways to share information. Writing the posts requires what is essentially me info-dumping about something that I care about a lot. My neurodivergence has allowed me to learn and practice and use skills while doing something I really enjoy.
My dyslexia means that I generally need clear explanations. Being a university student means that I have a decent amount of practice writing and reading complex academic papers. This combination means that I have got pretty good at simplifying content so that it can be shared in a more accessible way.
My neurodivergence cannot be separated from me, and I wouldn’t want to change it. I would be a completely different person without it, so happy neurodiversity celebration week!”
The Fair4All Card was originally designed for people who could not wear face masks and who struggled with the new one-way systems and queues in shops. One main group of people we wanted to help was neurodivergent people. Although the scheme has changed and grown a lot since then, we still have a number of statements written with neurodivergent people in mind. Apply today at https://fair4all.org.uk/apply-for-a-card/