by Ian Murphy
Originally published: March 8, 2017
The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom hosted a day on Neuro-Diversity. The focus of the day was around how to get some people with autism into cyber security. Certain types of autism are particularly suited to some types of cybersecurity roles. The day provided them with different challenges and opportunities to test themselves. It also gave prospective employers a look at what neuro-diversity means.
To many people, diversity means race, gender, skin colour or physical disability. This ignores a growing number of people who are diagnosed with autism. Autism is defined by the National Autism Society as: “a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.”
When you do mention autism to employers they are often unsure as to what it means in the workplace. What information they do have often comes from sources that seek to sensationalise some types of autism. This leaves them concerned that they would be unable to cope with an autistic person in their workplace. When they think about disability their focus is on how to adapt their workplace for disabled employees. Lifts, ramps, bathrooms and desks for people in wheelchairs or making the office safer and dog friendly for those who are partially or fully blind.