Not So Different highlights success of neurodivergent peopleMike Finnerty 28 Nov 2023
Blanchardstown-based social enterprise Not So Different has released an impact report that details how they have helped people who are neurodivergent find success.
The company aims to both educate and inform people how neurodivergent people contribute to the world around us.
Since 2016, the enterprise has used a system called the Diverse Minds Institute, which aims to show people how neurodivergent people see the world differently and is allowing for new, novel solutions for problems to be unlocked.
The seeks to improve education and employment outcomes for both neuro-atypicals (those with a neurological developmental condition) and neuro-typicals (those with no perceived neurological developmental condition).
Since 2016 over 1,000 members have joined Not So Different with an 80% graduation rate and 10% of families who took part in the process recommend Not So Different and the Diverse Minds Institute approach.
Over 125 organisations across the country have worked with Not So Different to support people across the creative and arts industries.
Members of Government, including Minister of State Jack Chambers, as well as local politicians, industry, members and supporters of Not So Different all gathered this month at the not-for-profit social enterprise’s HQ in Blanchardstown to celebrate the work of the organisation over the past seven years.
As part of their outreach, the Hub concept, based in Blanchardstown library, allows people to take part in simulated workplace environments, which neurodivergent people often struggle with.
CEO and Founder of Not So Different, Deirdre Lynch said the firm was set up to harness the potential of those who “see, think and perceive the world differently.”
She said the Diverse Minds Institute approach has “exceeded expectations,” and is now looking to expand across Ireland.
“We need Government to support our work in collaboration with industry stakeholders and philanthropy to make this a reality,” she said.
Minister Chambers attended the launch of Not So Different’s Impact Report and commented, “I am very pleased to help launch this important report which outlines the essential work Not So Different has been undertaking over the past number of years in supporting and promoting equality, inclusion, and diversity in our communities.”
“The report clearly highlights how the organisation is delivering on its objective to inspire and enable others to create a diversity of thought culture that leads to greater creativity in our world.”
2019 research from the National College of Ireland shows that as many as 4% of the Irish workforce are neurodivergent, and there has been a push in recent years to educate and inform the population about what neurodivergent people contribute to society.
The neurodivergent umbrella is vast, with the likes of autism, dyslexia, attention deficit disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
In recent weeks, the autism charity AsIAm.Ie has launched an autism-specific category on irishjobs.ie.