Episode 344: Neurodiversity and Accessibility With Wesley Faulkner, Head of Community at SingleStore

Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive workplace leader. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of Workology.com as she sits down and gets to the bottom of trends, tools, and case studies for the business leader HR and recruiting professional who is tired of the status quo. Now here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Episode 344: Neurodiversity and Accessibility With Wesley Faulkner (@Wesley83), Head of Community at SingleStore

 

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:26.37] This episode of the Workology Podcast is part of our Future of Work series that is powered by PEAT, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology. PEAT works to start conversations around how emerging workplace technology trends are impacting people with disabilities. The work LG podcast is sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace the HR Exam. Today, I’m joined by Wesley Faulkner. He’s a first-generation American, public speaker, and podcaster. He is the founding member of a government transparency group called Open Austin and a staunch supporter of racial justice, workplace equality, and neurodiversity inclusion. His professional experience spans technology from AMD, the Atlassian, Dell, IBM, and MongoDB. Wesley currently works as the Head of Community at SingleStore, and in addition, he co-hosts the developer relations-focused podcast Community Pulse and also serves on the board for SXSW. Wesley, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:01:31.89] Well, thanks for having me. With that intro, I think we’re, half our time is gone.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:01:35.40] I know. It was a mouthful. But you’re busy and you do lots of things. So tell us a little bit more about your background and maybe how you got involved in working around workplace equality and neurodiversity.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:01:49.02] I got to say that this is, I would say that I’m on my fourth career right now, and I think it’s, it’s kind of with the things that I’m interested in and the things I like doing. It’s, it’s a continuous journey to find the things that I’m good at and that I can lean into, and they actually make a career out of it. So what I do right now is developer relations, which didn’t exist at the beginning of my career. And luckily, with technology and the advancements of all these nice niches that I’m able to find, the thing that I’m good at and it actually be valued and have a name. So I started off early on in my career, I would say as a student in college for electrical computer engineering. So I’ve always really loved technology, how it works, how it fits together and the pursuit of advancing that to hopefully move towards equality in general. As you can tell, I’m a [00:02:47.01] Trekkie, [00:02:47.51] and so that was my base. That was my home of realizing a future where we all can participate in our own little ways with the help of advancements. From, from school, I immediately worked at Dell and I was there for six years and I got a promotion every single year. One of those things where like, I got rewarded for a lot of my participation and that brought me to a place.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:03:13.41] That place is called Cincinnati, and I was the regional support person there, and I always wanted to come back to Austin. I loved Austin, and in order to do so, I changed careers again. Then that moved to my second career as a product development engineer at AMD, and that spent most of my time, five and a half years really moving into the technology space. And then I developed my love of marketing there because I would go to a lot of conventions, a lot of expos, and I would have to explain the technology. And one of them, one of the places I went to was SXSW. That was my first time going because it was a work trip. Even though it was in my backyard, I never went, and meeting people who are both smart and intelligent and also personable and really nice was something that felt like it was not a thing. Basically being in technology, it was always one of the, or one or the other. I go to work for the smartness and the, the technical and the, the really left-brain stuff. And then I would go home to my friends and my family for a lot of the cordial communication and networking and that I would do on the off chance and off times with people who had nothing at all to do with technology. So my friend group and my workgroup was always separate.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:04:30.84] But when I went to SX, I met people who kind of like satisfied both, and I felt home. I felt like this is the place I belong. And that’s when I moved into social media management and I did that for about a decade. For different companies, large companies, startups, agencies, and all that stuff. And one of my connections who knew that my technical background and my social media background said, like, I think this [00:04:57.00] Deveraux [00:04:57.36] thing is something that you would be interested in. We’re starting that up. Over here at IBM, why don’t you come work for us? And so that’s started my journey in developer relations and really connecting with developers and kind of doing developer marketing on a more personal, interactive way with people who are interested in technology, which is also like a really hard-to-reach niche. And because of my experience, it felt like it was everything I did before that was culminating into this current role that I do, and that led me to Head of, to Head of Community at SingleStore. So that’s a long arch and journey where I’ve always cared about people. I’ve always cared about technologies. And this is kind of like a place where my personal passion and my, my work and personal balances kind of like smushed together and I kind of get to do both.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:05:48.51] So I want to talk a little bit more about neurodiversity because I think that it’s still a new term concept idea. Can you talk a little bit about neurodiversity and maybe explain to the podcast audience what it means to be neurodivergent?

Wesley Faulkner: [00:06:05.91] So. There is several few. There’s a lot of definitions, like with diversity at the very beginning when you talked about diversity just in general, people thought, add more women. There is the same kind of thought process when you think about neurodiversity, people think of autism and autistic people like [00:06:26.23] Rain Man drop [00:06:27.25]. Some matches, matchsticks, or toothpicks on the ground and able to count those. And that is kind of like where people are like, Oh, that sounds like a useful thing that will start incorporating and our work environment of people who are like many supercomputers. At least that’s some of the thoughts. And like I said, we’re nascent. This is the very start the very beginning of this, but to branch out what it actually means in terms of neurodiversity. It’s actually a little bit different than neurodivergent. So let me explain. Neurodivergent is the companion term of neurotypical. So those are the two kinds of sides of that coin. Neurotypical is what you would think as regular and neurodivergent is not regular, but neurodiversity is more talking about the spectrum in which there is the naturally ocurrent ways of brain construction and thought process. So it is the whole array of people who are born with different ways of thinking because of the way that their brain chemistry is set up, but also the people who inherent cognitive differences based on, let’s say, a TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, or anxiety, or people who have PTSD.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:07:49.93] Those are also considered part of the neurodiverse spectrum of ways of thinking, not just autism or dyslexia, which is what I have or the many different things that you’ll find in the DSM, where it’s basically made from a place of what is normal and what is abnormal. But neurodiversity kind of takes the, takes that and says, like, it’s all normal and it’s all in the range of possibilities of what people think and how they think and, and allowing space for people to understand that the role of someone who is considered, let’s say neurotypical is to make room for people who are neurodivergent. So because of the way the things are set up, kind of like in the space where we’re talking about diversity, we wouldn’t be talking about diversity if it wasn’t overly dominated by the people who are making the rules and also the gatekeeping that happens that prevents from the people from different backgrounds or different experiences to participate. So that’s a general overview of neurodiversity. It’s making sure that everybody is welcome, no matter how they think and how they got there.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:09:05.09] Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing, and, you know, I’m listening to you talk and I’m, I’m learning things, so it’s, it’s important to, to have these distinctions and to, to hear from individuals who are neurodiverse. So I wanted to ask you if you would be willing to share, maybe with the podcast listeners, your experience for when you disclosed your disability when you talk to HR and said, Hey, I have a disability. Talk to us through what that experience was like and how it went down.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:09:42.11] I’m going to say clunky, both on my side and the HR side. I did not disclose for most of my work career, actually, it is something that is relatively new because as a marginalized group to begin with a person of color being able to say, Hey, here’s another way that I could possibly be eliminated from this role or be told I’m a problem. It is something I wasn’t comfortable with because it’s not just, when, when, I was diagnosed as an adult so that that kind of like fits into my, my feeling of shame. Like, there’s something wrong with me. There’s something that I’m not doing right. There’s no way that I can make it so that I can fit in appropriately. So I need to just make sure that I do the best that I can to mask this, this thing I feel ashamed about. So most of the adjustments are things that I tried to do on my own. So I purchased my own equipment, purchase my own technology. But my first interaction with HR talking about my dyslexia specifically came from a lens of it being an accommodation like other types of physical disabilities. And so they needed to know what physician I was working with. What was the treatment plan? They wanted to know from, from a, like if I need any workplace adjustments in terms of like my desk or my chair, which are things that didn’t really help me, but I was able to get equipment like a [00:11:21.09] dragon, naturally [00:11:21.93] speaking and like Grammarly to help with with checking my, my grammar while I was doing input. But even then there was kind of like magnified the shame because they told me specifically, I was not allowed to tell my manager about what my the combinations that I might need, that it was restricted information.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:11:44.91] I was also told that Grammarly, since it connects with an outside server to do some of the validation that I couldn’t tell anyone else that I was using it because it could be a security issue. And so but also at the same time, everything that I asked for was really put on me to provide. There was no facility for saying, Hey, so I see that you’re dyslexic and you have ADHD. This is a type typical things that we do in this company to help accommodate. What of this menu list of options would you like? That was something I was I would love to have had. In fact, when I said, Hey, can I just talk to someone and figure out what we can do in terms of accommodations? They said they’ve never encountered this before, and this was a fairly large company. One of the biggest in the world, I would say, and I was told that I was the first and I was also told we have people in this company that struggle even without your problem. And it made it feel like going through that process actually caused mental harm of being more othered than I was being quiet and reinforced. All of those, all those the stigmatization I felt internally, it just reinforced all that. It was a really bad experience and that was my first time disclosing. And so I just like backed away and just like, say, never mind, never mind, and pulled myself out of the process because it was such a horrible experience.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:13:15.60] Wow. Ok, so I, I can go into all the things that I think are wrong with what happened in that experience. But first, I want to just say thank you for sharing your experience because as HR leaders, we normally deal with the interaction. You know, somebody comes to the office, they are requesting accommodation and we should have, you know, processes and things in place in order to help accommodate or determine if reasonable combination is wanted or, or should take place. But it’s so important for you to share your personal experience because as an HR person, we’re on this side of the desk, right? We’re behind the desk. We are receiving the requests, but we don’t often get to hear from the employee candidly after the fact. Right? Sharing, sharing their own, own point of view. And I would like to think that that person was not meaning harm. Or maybe they were just misinformed. But you know, we don’t, we don’t know. But this is why we’re having these conversations now, and we’re sharing on this podcast in which I am so grateful that you are sharing because as HR leaders, we can help educate ourselves, inform ourselves and maybe lead with knowledge of the Americans Disabilities Act and the requirements for combination number one, but two with empathy as a person who is helping someone like yourself and is not comfortable or has never shared that they might need an accommodation.

Break: [00:14:54.71] Let’s take a reset. This is Jessica Miller-Merrell and you were listening to the Workology Podcast sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace the HR Exam. Today, we are talking with my friend Wesley Faulkner about neurodiversity and accessibility. This podcast is part of our Future of Work series, which is powered by PEAT, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology.

Break: [00:15:18.88] The Workology Podcast Future of Work series is supported by PEAT, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology. PEAT’s initiative is to foster collaboration and action around accessible technology in the workplace. PEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, ODEP. Learn more about PEAT at PEATWorks.org. That’s PEATWorks.org.

Making Accommodation Requests More Proactive and Enjoyable

 

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:15:47.87] I wanted to ask you, so this is your chance to say, OK, it didn’t go great, my first experience, but what can employers do to make that experience more enjoyable? So for employers who get an accommodation request like you or from an employee? What recommendations do you have for those HR leaders on how we can be more proactive and maybe more inclusive, especially considering that so many of us are working like all these different types of remote on-site and hybrid environments?

Wesley Faulkner: [00:16:23.99] I’ve seen a lot of, a lot of places that are forward-thinking. Explicitly say, if you need accommodation, click this link or get some information or let us know. So even just stating that is a big win and signals to people like me who might feel reluctant to self-disclose that it’s OK and they have a process in place for doing so. My first experience was one of those that didn’t, and so it was clunky and they learned by harming me in the process. And I say the word learn because there’s no follow up. So I don’t know if the, if the, if they got better after that or not. But one thing that one of the, the resources, of course, learning about the ADA was great. But going to a website like AskJan.org was a really good resource for me to know that accommodations weren’t just a screen reader or Grammarly or something like that, but also it could be asking for ways to work that is more effective. And my personal history, the reason why I’ve, I’ve struggled some ways with, especially ADHD and with dyslexia, is because it’s not just what you’re supposed to do for your job, but they dictate how to go about it. So they’re more restrictive on the process rather than the product, rather than the outcome. So, for instance, it’s easier for me to speak orally than to communicate via text. So if someone is chatting with me over Slack, I’ll do maybe shorter answers to try to convey the information that they’re asking for. But there is also some social norms that may not be honored or seen like, Hey, how was your day? How are you doing? What are you working on? That kind of thing where people might interpret my short or abrupt reply as being curt or mean or in a bad mood? And that is one of those things where like, Hey, if you want to have a substantive conversation, let’s just hop on a Zoom link or something really quickly.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:18:34.04] That is an accommodation that could be spelled out saying, Hey, realize short answers on Slack, long answers in meetings. That would be a good one. Another is an accommodation would be give me the notes of our meeting because some, because of the language is sometimes a barrier. When someone’s like, Hey, I would love to have that done by the end of the quarter. But what they really mean is you have to have that done by the end of the quarter. Or I would love to see like this done if you have time to do that or what they actually mean is I need you to do this. If you don’t have time to do it, let me know. So there’s things that are unsaid in meetings that having the person who’s giving these restrictions or requirements have them do a bullet point or a summary after the meeting. So that’s concise and clear is also something that could be an accommodation for my current role. One of the accommodations that I asked for is for smart goals, goals to be in smart format so that they’re time-bound, they’re measurable and they are less subjective than some other goals. So all of those can be accommodations, and I worked with the people in my HR department to get that.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:19:47.27] I don’t think that I personally and I say this because I think most HR leaders who are listening to this podcast right now are like, Oh, I never thought that a smart goal could be an accommodation. But if what you need is specific details and information with dates of completion to get the work done and you have dyslexia or ADHD or some other diagnosis or disability, this is a really great way for things to be really clear, spelled out like there’s no gray area like the due date is March 30th. Ok, that’s what was outlined in the smart goal. Here are the things that need to be completed for this project by that specific date. And so many of us take for granted that other people just know that when they say like, Oh hey, do you think you can get this done by the end of the week? It really means you need to get this done by the end of the week, but not everybody thinks around quarters or just receives that information the same way. So it’s really important for the manager to really check in with that employee to make sure that there’s a concrete understanding that I really meant that this needs to be done by Friday end of day. So it’s a more of a conversation and like not just, you know, here’s a bunch of screen readers and things like [00:21:17.61] we at [00:21:18.36] the call center that I worked at, we would get foot rests and screen readers requests for accommodation all the time. But those were four different types of disabilities, right? Different needs. So yours has, has a different level or different type, and that involves an ongoing relationship with your manager to make sure that you feel like you’re getting what you need. And it’s, it’s being given to you in the manner for you to be able to be successful in your job.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:21:47.19] And also, I don’t know if this is brought up in other shows like the curb example of accommodations, where the, the end of the curb used to be just this round thing that you have to step down into. And so they cut the curb and made it more of a slant like a gradient. So people who had a disability where they had to not be able to walk on top of the curve but need that gradual ramp, having the curb allowed for strollers to move on the sidewalk easier. And even in this modern day where we have these autonomous robots that go down sidewalks, that allows that kind of new ingenuity to happen because things were made easier for one group, which made it easier for all groups, and it wasn’t considered lazy for a stroller to, to lift it up. It just made things easier. So making things accessible to other people doesn0t mean that you’re lowering the bar. It just means you’re opening up more possibilities for people to participate.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:22:50.64] I think all of us have used electric doors when we’ve went to somewhere where the store just opens, like that originally started as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. So just like the curb. So these are things that can benefit everyone and everybody. A large number of people can get value, but the origination was from somebody that said, Hey, I have a wheelchair and I need to be able to get down to the, to the street from the curb. It totally makes sense. I wanted to ask you as someone who’s neurodivergent and working remotely. Do you see more pros than cons with the continuation of remote work? Or what are your thoughts on this?

Wesley Faulkner: [00:23:39.57] I think for, yes and no. So people who are really overwhelmed by some of the sensory bombardment they’ll get in the office with people walking around noises or bright lights working from home allows them to control their own environment. For me, I, it’s in some ways it’s a detriment because, because of my communication or my main mode of communication is personal relationships and having conversations. I can walk over to someone’s desk in an in-person environment and say, Hey, what are you working on? This is what I’m dealing with. And so that way it can be harder for me. But at the same time, I do have, it’s more socialized the access of being able to reach out on Slack or setting up different arrangements and meetings that were not as much in an in-person environment. And so I’m able to control my time more and get distracted less. So there’s, there’s a give and take for different kinds of environment, and it just it took a while to figure out how to figure out what part of the things I wanted to keep from the old ways and one of the things that I wanted to kind of try to recreate. And then what are the from the new ways of what are the things that can leverage and take advantage of? For instance, I use a screen reader to help read things which I would need headphones and making sure if I had embarrassment that no one’s looking at my screen to see what I’m doing. But at home, I can do that at my leisure and even multitask while I’m doing that, which makes it way, way, way more easier for me to do that from that standpoint. So there’s, there’s pluses and minuses, but I think, like you mentioned before about accommodations, there are ways that it can be supportive from the organizational standpoint for people to, to not just figure it out on their own, but to be supported by the HR department to help with making sure that everyone’s included.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:25:38.27] Yeah. And with so much access to technology. I, my, my big fear is that whatever happens, I think it’ll be some sort of hybrid because the numbers are saying that people don’t want to go back to work the way they were before. I read something the other day that commuting is an additional $5000 a year of expense on the employee. So I’m not suggesting that we pay them for their time or give them a raise, but it’s an additional financial expense that we haven’t necessarily had. So there are a lot of people who don’t want to go back to work and are going to change jobs so that they don’t have to go back to work. But it makes the relationship building process and building that trust manager-employee team more challenging. And it means that you can’t just walk by somebody’s cubicle and go, Hey, Bob, what’s going on? You have to be more intentional and reach out to somebody like you were saying, get on a Zoom call, let’s just chat for 15 minutes. So, leaders, employees are going to need to be able to be more proactive and intentional about building those relationships moving forward.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:26:50.57] Agreed. And there were still, even though we’re two years in, we’re early on when you look at generally how work has handled this thus far of this personal connection and communication between management employees and company and employees. But luckily, I think we’re at the point where these tools are being developed. These best practices are being disseminated like this podcast, for instance, where we have a chance to get to a consensus of what needs to be tackled and how so that people can build on that going forward to bridge that gap between the old way and the new way

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:27:26.36] You work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as accessibility. It’s a lot of what we’ve been talking about today. I want to touch on intersectionality in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion, and accessibility. What does that look like from your perspective?

Wesley Faulkner: [00:27:42.26] I mention about the shame about how hard it was being a person of color and still trying to deal with this current environment. I, I’ve, I’ve been in a lot of spaces where people who have been diagnosed as neurodivergent and they talk about their experiences. And so I was able to learn based on my different experience where when they struggled, they would possibly get the benefit of the doubt of, OK, they’re having some problems, they’re having some struggles. Let’s figure out what resources we need to get them for them to upskill or up level. And from my experience, from being a person that may have struggled, maybe similar environments instead of me having a problem, I’ve been seen as the problem. So instead of finding why this is happening, it was more of I shouldn’t have gotten a job in the first place. I was unqualified. Let’s just get rid of this person and replace them with someone else. And for that reason, it’s been a struggle to kind of be in this world. And you hear about the exhaustion during like George Floyd, where people had to explain how the race affects their day to day life and have to educate their peers about the struggle of being a person of color in this current environment. But like you take that and you multiply that with neurodivergent people who are neurodivergent and like, that’s a whole nother avenue where you’re further marginalized and you have to do more of the heavy lifting and explaining like that first encounter with HR, where I had to do the work of saying, This is what I need. This is why it’s important. This is how it would help you.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:29:23.99] And so there’s a heavier lift because I’ve noticed that people who aren’t of a marginalized group, but they still have some of these accommodations needed that, like if you look at, if you look at the people of the prison population, most of them are undiagnosed. People who are neurodivergent. If you look at people who got to my age before they got diagnosis, that’s way more common with people of color because I was, in class if I wasn’t paying attention, I just wasn’t paying attention. Maybe not that I had ADHD. And the punishments are harsher. The, the repercussions are, are harsher. And it really challenges kind of like notions of like right now, like being in a leadership role and seeing like, Oh, I have problems with keeping track of things or I’m a little scattered, but they may not understand that I’m an awesome delegator. It’s not that I don’t know what needs to happen. It means that it’s maybe like I have a written down, but I need to hand it off to someone else to run with.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:30:31.08] So there are skills that I think are coupled together that traditionally think like if you’re good at X, you’re good at Y. But when you’re neurodivergent, that equation, that algebra may not work out. And so when, and then when you come combine, combine that with like assumptions and bias of like if you’re, if you’re, if you have these traits, no way that you’re good at this trait. It’s a much larger leap for a person of color. And so those are, the some of the ways that intersectionality kind of like affects my life and a struggle that I currently and probably will ever always have in terms of saying, Hey, I know that I’m a great speaker, but when I send you a paper and it has a whole bunch of typos, it doesn’t mean that I spent five minutes on it and I didn’t. I didn’t put passion into it. It means that this is, this this paper doesn’t represent me and that you have to kind of disconnect to understand that it doesn’t mean that I don’t know what I’m talking about or that I didn’t take the care into doing this document, which can be sometimes what people feel.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:31:39.69] This is such a good reminder. I think we think about the hiring process and resumes and applications and cover letters and all the different things, and these aren’t necessarily designed to be as inclusive, maybe as we think they are when, when we think about people with disabilities, in addition to intersectionality and, and other marginalized groups. So I wanted to change things up just a little bit. And have you put your kind of futurist hat on for us and think about the next 30 years of work. What emerging workplace trends or technologies do you think will have the biggest impact on people with disabilities?

Wesley Faulkner: [00:32:31.26] So I’ve been giving this a lot of thought. I’m not sure if this is something that will work for all industries, but I would love for people to assuage the notion or the myth that there is a well-rounded employee. Someone who’s good at coming up with the ideas, implementing the ideas, give a presentation of the ideas, deciding what the budget is for the idea, doing the reporting of the idea after it’s been implemented. Figure out what changes are needed and then rinsing repeating. Those are all jobs where they can be separated for different people with different talents to, say that those skill sets are what we need to happen, and we don’t need this umbrella term of saying this person is the blah blah blah coordinator or this blah blah blah manager or whatever and, and have people fulfill roles based on their skill sets instead of job titles. So if I’m really great as of coming up with a great idea and coming up with all the ways that it can go wrong and mitigating for that, but I’m bad at execution. That shouldn’t be something where it can hold me back because it holds the company back because it still could be a really good idea, but if execution could be done with contractors or someone else or even another full time employer that all they do, employee, that all they do is enact these great ideas because that might be their passion, that might be their skill set and maybe not reporting. And if I don’t want to talk to anyone, anyone ever and I just want to just look at a dashboard and compile these numbers and find these insights, that shouldn’t also preclude me from doing the role because that’s the thing I’m passionate about. So decoupling the needs and wants and skills from job definitions, I think, is the future of work. Or at least I would like it to be where people can participate and lean into their skill set rather than having to put themselves in these boxes that are predefined.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:34:33.56] I love it, and I feel like you just describe my team because they all have different superpowers and I am just the conductor of the orchestra and they all work in different capacities. And I, I feel like it’s so much better time spent. They get to do what they love, what they’re really great at. And then we all work together to put together a really amazing performance. Like this podcast, like, I don’t do all the things. It’s lots of different people who have different roles in order to put something like this out there for the public, the community for HR to be able to enjoy. So very well said, I love that.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:35:13.31] Thank you. Fingers crossed.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:35:14.97] Let’s yeah, let’s make it happen. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat. I know I’m going to see you at SXSW, so that’ll be fun. And where can people go to learn more about you and the work that you’re doing?

Wesley Faulkner: [00:35:31.52] So I have a preference if people want to find me, the number one place is Twitter. So Wesley83 on Twitter. So Twitter.com/Wesley83, that’s number one. And so that’s my preferred method of contact and communication. Number two is my Polywork page, so Polywork.com/Wesley83. That’s where I post all my appearances, talks, blog posts, anything that I do. I publicly pin it as my internet portfolio. So if you’re interested in seeing what kind of work that I’ve done and created and what I’m doing now, I would go there, second, and there’s also a contact button. So if you want to collaborate, there’s a great way of doing that directly through Polywork, which is, disclosure, I’m a Polynot, which is an advisor for the company. So that’s another reason why I’m all in on Polywork. And lastly would be LinkedIn. So if you’re interested in hiring me, feel free to reach out there on LinkedIn. If you want to have me be a skill set list of your company.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:36:35.72] I love it and we’ll link to all the things, the different places to be able to connect with Wesley too on the show notes at Workology.com. So thank you again, Wesley. It was a pleasure. And I know everyone got is getting a lot out of this conversation, not just now, but really in the coming days, months, and hopefully years.

Wesley Faulkner: [00:36:57.11] Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:36:59.44] The Workology Podcast is sponsored by Upskill HR and Ace the HR Exam, this series is part of our Future of Work series and it is powered by my friends at PEAT, the Partnership for Employment and Accessible Technology. It’s so important to learn directly from experts like Wesley, who have a deep understanding and experience with different areas of accessibility because this can fundamentally change how we understand, work with people and hire not just neurodiverse individuals, but all types of people within DEIA. I would encourage you to check out the show links and go into the show notes of the Workology Podcast for this specific episode to learn more about PEAT and Wesley and the resources we talked about today. I so appreciate Wesley’s insights. They were deeply personal. Such a great person, and I hope that his expertise helped you learn a little bit more about neurodiversity.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:37:57.27] Personal and professional development is essential for successful HR leaders. Join Upskill HR to access live training, community, and over one hundred on-demand courses for the dynamic leader. HR recert credits available. Visit UpskillHR.com for more. This podcast is for the disruptive workplace leader who’s tired of the status quo. My name is Jessica Miller-Merrell, and until next time you can visit Workology.com to listen to all our Workology Podcast episodes.

Connect with Wesley Faulkner.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

 

– Wesley Faulkner on LinkedIn

– Wesley Faulkner on Twitter

– Wesley Faulkner on Polywork

– PEATWorks

– Vulnerability as a Strength In the Workplace: A Conversation with Cher Scarlett 

– Autism | US Department of Labor

– Job Accomodation Network  

– Episode 257: Building Neurodiverse Talent Pools

– Episode 339: What Perfect Looks Like for Accessibility With Dave Dame, Director of Accessibility at Microsoft

– Episode 340: Making Technology and Content Accessible for People With Disabilities With Lainey Feingold

How to Subscribe to the Workology Podcast

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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