Neurodiversity @ IBM

Neurodiversity Acceptance Month 2021: Awareness, Acceptance, & Advancement

By Carla Grant Pickens
April 6, 2021

IBM is proud to be expanding what is usually recognized as World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, to the entire month of April, where we will celebrate and recognize ALL neurological differences, in order to champion a global movement from awareness to acceptance of neurodiversity. 

Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be accepted and respected as any other human variation. This includes Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity, Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Tourette syndrome, and many other neurological differences.  

Throughout the month, IBM will provide opportunities for IBMers, our clients and partners to increase their understanding and awareness of neurodiversity. We will share stories of the countless neurodivergent individuals who bring unique value and skills to our company. Reading and reflecting on their stories is a chance to move toward acceptance of all neurodivergent people, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyone.  

Our decision to expand this celebration to be more inclusive is in support of Neurodiversity@IBM's global goal of advancement for Neurodiversity which includes promoting a culture where neurodivergent voices are amplified, and establishing key stakeholder roles, leadership positions and opportunities for neurodivergent professionals. IBM is committed to growth, as we proactively seek new ways to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and help companies transform through our AI and hybrid cloud services and technology.  

Since the start of our Global Neurodiversity Program, IBM has launched neurodiversity hiring programs on five continents and eight different countries. We have also provided training in 30+ countries, provided neurodiversity enablement to employees in multiple language, and have had over 1,500 IBMers complete our Neurodiversity101 acceptance course. We also developed safe-space virtual communities and task forces, where neurodivergent individuals can support each other and serve as a think tank for initiatives. 

None of this would be possible without the neurodivergent-led Neurodiversity@IBM Global Business Resource Group, along with the #ActuallyAutistic and #ActuallyNeurodivergent Task Forces, who are advancing neurodiversity acceptance at IBM and in our communities with neurotypical allies.  

In the spirit of Neurodiversity Acceptance Month 2021, and of our Neurodiveristy@IBM motto, "Nothing About Us, Without Us," we are excited to share stories from some of our ND community at IBM.

Carla Grant Pickens
Vice President, Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, IBM