Exploring Neurodiversity: A Conversation with Meredith Tekin, President of IBCCES on Fostering Inclusion

Neurodiverse individuals in an office.

Step into a thought-provoking episode of ‘The Daily Show,’ where hosts Christine B. and Brandon W. engage with Meredith Tekin, President of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). In this episode, they tackle the pressing issues and nuances of neurodiversity and inclusion. This article recasts their insightful discussion into a Q&A format, offering you a closer look at the world of neurodiversity, the mission driving IBCCES, and the real-world impact of their certification and training programs. Join us as we navigate through this engaging conversation, shedding light on how understanding and embracing neurodiversity is not just beneficial but essential for creating inclusive communities.

Could you tell us about the mission of IBCCES and your role in promoting neurodiversity?

Meredith Tekin: “Our whole focus at IBCCES is to fill in the knowledge gaps and provide supports to professionals and organizations so that the quality of life and experiences for individuals who are autistic or neurodivergent or have other disabilities can be improved. I’ve been passionate about this mission for over 20 years, and we’ve grown to impact professionals across healthcare, education, hospitality, and more.“

How do you define neurodiversity, and why is it important to understand its spectrum?

Meredith Tekin: “Neurodiversity encompasses a whole range of individuals, including those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other conditions. It’s about seeing beyond the deficits and recognizing the strengths and abilities of neurodiverse individuals. The autism spectrum, for example, is not linear, and each individual might have various needs and strengths. Understanding this helps us create more inclusive and supportive environments.“

Neurodiverse individuals

What are some practical strategies for accommodating neurodiverse individuals in workplaces and communities?

Meredith Tekin: “The key is to avoid making assumptions and to foster open communication and a supportive culture. For instance, I shared an anecdote about a staff member with a sensory sensitivity. A simple change in uniform policy significantly improved their comfort and performance. It’s about understanding and making accommodations that can make a real difference in someone’s life.“

Can you discuss the broader impact and benefits of IBCCES certification for organizations?

Meredith Tekin: “Certainly. While I didn’t provide specific statistics in our conversation, our work with partners across 90 countries has shown that IBCCES certification empowers organizations to provide better support and promote a more inclusive society. This not only enhances the quality of life for neurodiverse individuals but also brings substantial benefits to the organizations, such as improved customer satisfaction and employee morale.“

Neurodiverse individuals

Finally, what would you say to organizations and professionals considering engaging with IBCCES?

Meredith Tekin: “I would encourage them to take this step towards becoming champions of inclusion. Through education and certification, you can significantly enhance your understanding and ability to serve neurodiverse individuals effectively. Everyone deserves to lead a healthy and happy life, and by partnering with IBCCES, you can make a real difference.“

As Tekin passionately advocates, it’s about recognizing everyone’s unique contributions and creating environments where all can thrive. Discover how to become an inclusion champion. Visit  IBCCES Website to learn more about certification and training programs and take the first step towards making a lasting difference in your community and beyond.

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