I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to Church Mutual ( www.churchmutual.com ) for Disability Awareness Month. They currently sponsor 2 Paralympic athletes, 1 a skier who uses a wheelchair and the other a track sprinter who is autistic. Last year Church Mutual focused on disabled with mobility challenges. This year they wanted to highlight the rapidly growing segment of diversity called neurodiversity to give deeper understanding of individuals classified by the ADA laws as having a cognitive disability like autism. While there are many other named and unnamed conditions among the neurodistinct than autism, it was the focus because of their sponsoring an autistic Paralympian and because I am autistic and able to speak to it from lived experience.
In the endless ways something can go wrong Zoom messed up when I turned my camera back on for the live show. It of course worked perfectly for the prior 15 minutes as were were doing a tech check. Thinking it was my camera I tried making some quick adjustments on it and changing some of the lighting. Better, but still looked like a ghost. Looking at the recording made by the camera it was actually working perfectly. Bummer that is not what Zoom was displaying. In the spirit of "the show must go on" I shared by deck which displayed perfectly and my ghost image was now just a distracting little box on the side.
This episode is the audio track of the presentation. I start with facts about disabilities and how odd it is that a white wheelchair and person on a blue background is the symbol of "handicap" in the USA as 25% of Americans have a disability and only 1% of Americans use wheelchairs. We then touched on invisible disabilities and that cognitive disabilities are the largest group in America's disabled population. Finally we dove into neurodiversity where we focused in on autism.
Thank you to DisabilityIn ( disabilityin.org ) for introducing me to this amazing company. It was a pleasure to speak to them and help support the amazing job they are doing in diversity.