Johnathon Interview: Enablers

Updated: Jan 29

This is a video interview with Johnathon, discussing what would enable him to succeed and thrive in the workplace. Below the video is a transcript for those who would prefer just to read the interview.


Video Transcript:

Edited for clarity.


Tiffany:

It's the eye of the beholder, right? So then when you get into it, those are your barriers. Now, if you were to design a workplace and you had people that were listening to you, how would you tell them they need to design this workplace in this process? You tell them how to do it.


Jonathan:

One, I need to, we need to make an environment that creates opportunity for people to have dialogues. There should not be the moment of this is the one thing that's going on. Just go do it while I can do things like that. It would be much better to be able to make sure under requirements are on the same page, that everybody is able to get similar questions, similar questions together to create similar understandings. There is also, I would also appreciate environments where people's expertise and differences and knowledge could be translated in things other than seniority and where job, but that would be a much longer term project that would, that I would see difficulty getting to immediately. And


Tiffany:

You explained, expand on that one a little bit.


Jonathan:

Yeah. For example, it's like, there are many organizations that's kind of say, okay, they've all been, everybody's been doing this for how long, and that's what makes them more knowledgeable. But there are people like me who have your diverse, diverse, mindsets, and ways to ask new questions and new answers. And often I think these often get lost in GroupThink.


Tiffany:

So. Do you think would that be looking at, so you're moving faster than say that the traditional thing is like you go three months, you get reviewed, you go at three months, you get reviewed. You mean that? Or do you mean the process of, you know, I want to be promoted, but doesn't necessarily mean I want to go into leadership because I think those are two different things.


Jonathan:

I am not talking about promotion at all. What I am saying here is organizations that are able to ask better questions and not keep them trapped in leadership, have, have questions, get asked to the low down to the lower levels.


Tiffany:

So you mean, you may want to be more include your voice included more in the decision-making and got it. So


Jonathan:

Sure. Hire your senior diversity people, but hire for, but hire for diversity across levels. Don't just, don't just restrict it to your, to your tech and your salespeople. Get to get the points and get people talking across all levels of the organization.


Tiffany:

Do you mean just for autism hiring or just in general?


Jonathan:

It's a criticism I have about a bunch of award winning autism hiring programs. And, and I, but I really do just mean in general. And one of the other things I will say is don't just put all the autistic people into one employee resource group, because then you're just risking people falling to the risking one version of the autism experience, being the acceptable one, to talk about things that need to be yeah. And things that needs to be done for done for now for autism needs of her other neuro diverse conditions of her invisible disabilities and even hobbies.


Tiffany:

Okay. That's a great idea. So you wouldn't say you don't think have any neurodiverse group versus having an autism group. It's gotta be even more multi-layer to it.


Jonathan:

It's not, it's not just about multi-layering. It's making sure that people aren't just told here, this is where your feedback belongs. It's saying your feedback can belong and all of the relevant groups to you..


Tiffany:

Right. Got it. True. Don't don't pigeonhole you right. To one area that makes a lot of sense. So when it comes to employment, is there anything else you would want people to know that we're trying to educate, to make a more inclusive environment for people that are neurodiverse? What would you want them to know


Jonathan:

First off when you're talking about how good your people, how about your diversity initiatives have some more specific examples. There are people who often say they've had award-winning programs or that they do things, but they don't list what they do. And that doesn't tell me anything. There was. And this is something that sometimes you can get better from your employees than from, from mostly premiere employees outside of HR, then from within HR, because within HR is often talking about the risk and the general statements, but they all, but there's often user stories within the employee things to say, here's what people actually talked about. Here's what people actually did. Number two, if you're creating a new campus, consider building options to adjust various things so that when the questions about light sensitivities and noise sensitivity is do come up, you have ways to reconfigure to adapt. So for example, instead of just building a light switch, maybe build a light switch with a dimmer, or instead of building an area that it's designed for only to amplify sound a lot or chose a direction that is allow things to be adjusted for various parts from the room. So that's somebody so that you can have noise adjustment. So people with noise sensitivities and without them can be in the same room and a bunch of other things like that.


To see Johnathon's interview on Challenges, click here.

To see Johnathon's interview on Barriers, click here.

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