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  • Writer's pictureClaire Essien

Creative Differences: A handbook for embracing neurodiversity in the creative industries

Today I had the privilege to attend an event to launch the book ‘Creative Differences:  A handbook for embracing neurodiversity in the creative industries’. Having been given the book last Friday, which I devoured over the weekend, I was very much looking forward to hearing more about the Creative Differences project being led by Universal Music UK.  I was treated to an absolutely inspirational morning that included talks and panel discussions involving Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care), Professor Simon Baron-Cohen (Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University) and Darren Henley (Chief Executive of Arts Council England).  Alongside these industry experts sat numerous professionals, all of whom were neurodiverse, and spoke so honestly about their experiences in school and in the world of work. The Creative Differences Handbook was designed by Universal Music UK following extensive research involving experts and neurodiverse people.  The handbook provides practical guidance for the creative industry around the importance of embracing neurodiversity in the workplace and speaks to the steps that can be taken to ensure that all employees can work in an environment that supports their needs and allows them to fully demonstrate their skills and talents.   David Joseph, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK states in the book’s introduction, “It is a journey that has caused us to broaden our aims and diversity - to consider people who think differently and create differently.  It begins with respect: it’s not individuals that need to change; it’s company cultures. We need to make it OK to bring your whole self to work, whoever you are.” I would like to thank David Joseph for inviting me to this event, and most importantly, for the incredible work that is being done.  This is a much needed initiative, and sits so seamlessly alongside the work we do at AHS, and the aspirations we have for our students.  More information about the book, and the work being done, can be found in this BBC article.

Tanya Moran


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