By Brigitte Shipman
In this week’s episode, I interview Marcelle Ciampi, a respected autistic author of Everyday Asperger, to talk about her life as a late-age diagnosed woman on the spectrum and her work to promote workplace inclusion.
Marcelle is the Senior Manager at Ultranauts Inc., a fully remote engineering firm with an Autistic hiring initiative where she is credited for architecting a universal design approach to workplace inclusion.
Her knowledge is shared through training and consultancy work at Fortune 500 companies. She serves as the founder of Spectrum Suite LLC, the Co-Founder of The Diversity with Dignity Global Roundtable, and Co-Executive of neuroguides.org. Marcelle is also a contributor to the book Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism.
Marcelle shares her story of struggling with her middle son and his eventual diagnosis of autism and her own late-age diagnosis that came much later.
She started writing about her experience of living on the spectrum and what it was like to receive a late-age diagnosis as a woman, which she turned into a blog and later, a book.
She talks about her motivation behind her advocacy work which stems from her desire for autistic people who have been bullied and told they need to be different than they are to know that they’re valuable and worthy.
She also talks about workplace inclusion and the universal design approach that she helped to architect to consider the challenges of every team member and to support them through all life circumstances and capabilities.
We discuss the obstacles to employment that autistic adults face and the broken systems that were not set up to support neurodivergent people and in what ways we can improve our recruitment process.
In addition, we talk about the importance of vulnerability in the workplace that encourages everyone to feel accepted and supported and to be able to have mature, kind, and uncomfortable conversations where everyone can express themselves safely.
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