Think Differently About Thinking Differently
“Even the most highly skilled and verbal adults struggle to find employment, and the problem will only get worse. In 2018 a Houston Chronicle article highlighted that over the next ten years 500,000 autistic teens in the United States will age out of their local funding support systems. This is why creating an autism employability project has become such a passion for me. I desperately want to figure out how to fill in the glaring gap between employers who need loyal, capable workers and these underutilized neurodiverse adults.”
– Maisie Soetantyo, Founder of Autism Career Pathways.
This Core Conversation will discuss how neurodiverse individuals can thrive in the workplace and as entrepreneurs. We’ll discuss the potential and possibilities of embracing neurodiversity and provide you with the confidence to engage talent on the spectrum.
Who should join? This talk will benefit business owners, neurodiverse people, and those who WANT to open their doors to these talented individuals!
- Welcome & Introductions
- Dr. Heidi Ham will provide a Neurodiversity Rundown and how perspectives have to change toward acceptance and inclusion, and step away from pathologizing and fixing.
- Then, Dr. Ham and Jeffrey Miller will discuss career pathways as well as innovative strategies that have ensured autistic adults have thrived in the workplace.
- Following the discussion, there will be a Q&A session for attendees to ask their own questions about neurodiversity in entrepreneurship and the workplace.
About our Speakers
Dr. Heidi Stieglitz Ham is a social entrepreneur, autism researcher, adjunct professor at Rice University, and founder of Spectrum Fusion, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Human Communication Disorders, and in 2010 she graduated with her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Edinburgh specializing in autism. After completing her PhD, she taught and conducted research at the University of Queensland before moving to Western Australia.
After listening to parents across continents share their concerns regarding the lack of opportunities and positive outcomes for their adult children, she created a vision to shape the future of neurodiversity by creating a model grounded in sense-of-belonging, community, embracing the science of hope, and empowering adults on the spectrum to reach their full potential. This conceptual vision was presented at TEDxPerth in 2014.
Dr. Stieglitz Ham founded Spectrum Fusion in 2014 in Australia, and in 2017 brought her concept of a social impact model empowering adults to realize their full potential. She launched the Reactor Room Program: ‘A Shark Tank’ for Adults on the Autism Spectrum designed to create new and innovative opportunities for individuals providing them access to important connections. The Reactor Room Program® is the only program of its kind. Each Reactor Room focuses on the individual needs of participants and brings together business leaders, community connectors, entrepreneurs, and individuals with specialized knowledge who come prepared with their ideas and networks specifically tailored for the participants.
Currently, Dr. Stieglitz Ham is the Principal Investigator on a research study at Rice University assessing the effectiveness of traditional assessment measures that employers typically administer in adults on the autism spectrum.
Jeff Miller is the CEO & Founder of Potentia Workforce, a consulting firm that delivers technology, analytics, and human capital services by leveraging the talents of and providing opportunities to skilled, yet often overlooked neurodiverse individuals.
Jeff is an executive with more than 25 years’ experience leading high-performance organizations that provide innovative solutions to the communities they serve. He has launched and led businesses in the twenty largest markets in North America and across four continents.
Prior to founding Potentia, Jeff was President of a $350M global workforce services firm – delivering record profits while closing four acquisitions in less than eighteen months. Earlier in his career, he was Division President for a healthcare consultancy, taking the firm from start-up to a successful sale in three years. Jeff began his career for a Boston-based technology consulting firm where he was promoted four times before the age of thirty.
After his son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, Jeff began a deep exploration into neurodiversity which ultimately led to the formation of Potentia – combining multiple passions to bring innovation and corporate America and opportunity to the remarkable and often underemployed, neurodiverse community.
Jeff is a sought after thought leader and has appeared numerous times on television, at conferences, and online – sharing his experiences on leadership, neurodiversity and finding your purpose. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Gateway Academy, a Houston-area High School for students with learning differences.
A graduate of Williams College, Jeff lives in the Houston area with his wife Samantha and awesomely cool teenage son, Charlie.
Entrepreneurs, Investors, Innovators & Changemakers: Join us for more #THIS2020 Events! See the full calendar of 35+ *virtual* talks, panels, hackathons and more at https://thehoustonimpactsummit.com/
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