Perspectives

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Understood.org hosts first Day of Understanding

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At Understood.org, we believe that continued learning and knowledge can have a tremendous impact. This applies externally to shape the world’s awareness and understanding of neurodiversity, and internally, to help our team better serve the 70 million people with learning and thinking differences. 

This Spring, Understood held a Day of Understanding, where our entire team spent the day learning from external experts about a variety of topics relevant to our mission and the work we do. 

As one of several continued learning and development initiatives at Understood, the Day served as an opportunity to get a closer look into the everyday lives of those we serve: the more than 70 million people with learning and thinking differences. It gave teams the opportunity to hear firsthand about the challenges and needs for resources and solutions that help create more inclusive work environments for disabilities and neurodiversity. 

The Day consisted of panels and interactive sessions focused on creating awareness of learning and thinking differences and best practices for shifting perspectives through people, products, within companies, or through other means. Our team learned from external experts and organization leaders about:

  • The power of knowledge about learning and thinking differences, particularly the impact of having a diagnosis on a person

  • The value of employee resource groups (ERGs) to build DEI engagement and how an organization must assess readiness before implementing DEI initiatives

  • The importance of participatory design when it comes to innovating on digital products to ensure they are “by us, for us, and certainly not without us” and intuitive and easy for the end-user 

  • The importance of remaining true to the organization’s mission and sharing impact with donors

“By focusing on where we can create the biggest impact, you’re able to show people instead of telling them where progress can be made,” said John Lundy, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Manager at Ingram Micro and one of the speakers that Understood hosted during the Day of Understanding. “Having conversations like this allow us to adequately discuss, implement and measure programs and roles that set up neurodivergent folks for success.”

By dedicating time and space to understand where the challenges are, Understood and its team came away better equipped to align its resources to support and meet people with learning and thinking differences where they are on their journey. Understood will continue to foster knowledge and plans to host future Days of Understanding for its employees several times a year.

To learn more about working at Understood.org, visit https://www.understood.org/join-our-team. To lend your expertise and partner for future Understood.org events, visit https://www.understood.org/our-partners.

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