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For the last six years, more than sixty companies have implemented neurodiverse/autism employment programs. Led by Microsoft, SAP, and JP Morgan Chase, these companies have benefitted from the strengths and skills of their employees on the autism spectrum.

Hiring individuals on the spectrum has positively impacted entertainment companies as well. Disney, Lionsgate, and Nickelodeon have partnered with Exceptional Minds to outsource visual effects production to well-trained post-production artists.

The game development industry is fueled by neurodiversity, according to a 2022 United Kingdom games-industry census which found that 18% of the game developer’s surveyed were neurodivergent, with 4% being on the autism spectrum. (Source: GDC 2023: Unlocking the Power of Neurodiversity in Game Development) That is why Ubisoft, the second largest game developer in the world, has a Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group (ERG) with over 400 members. “These individuals have talents and skills, with some far above the average,” according to Ubisoft Neurodiversity Talent Program Director, Pierre Escaich. “These heightened skills include creativity, authenticity, hyperfocus, innovative thinking, resilience, sensory awareness, honesty, and verbal skills.”

Neurodiverse talent have skills and abilities that enable them to meet their team’s production goals, while efforts to empower them facilitate organizations to enhance their corporate culture and better their business results.

Bettering Business Results

Businesses that actively seek to employ people with disabilities outperform businesses that do not. Their revenues are 28% higher, net income two times more, and profit margins are higher by 30%   In addition, those companies that have improved their inclusion of persons with disabilities over time were four times more likely than others to have total shareholder returns that outperform those of their peer group. (Source: Accenture: GETTING TO EQUAL: THE DISABILITY INCLUSION ADVANTAGE)

Creating Cultural Change

Accommodating neurodiversity can have a tremendous positive impact on a corporate culture. It helps management and teams improve their communication, which results in clearer designation of deliverables leading to greater productivity. Work teams feel a sense of pride knowing that they are doing a greater good.

Enhancing Employee Skills

Many individuals on the autism spectrum excel when it comes to attention to detail and pattern recognition. In entertainment, this can translate to meticulous set design, accurate historical or technical portrayals, and consistent adherence to narrative elements. Individuals on the autism spectrum often exhibit hyperfocus, which means they can deeply engage in a particular task for extended periods. This can be a valuable asset in areas requiring intense concentration, such as animation, special effects, and post-production editing. Some individuals on the autism spectrum have heightened sensory perception, allowing them to bring a unique perspective to sensory aspects of entertainment, such as sound design, visual effects, and immersive experiences.

Empowering Passion

Members of the neurodiverse community are among the most dedicated fans of animation, video games, and films. Harness their passion and strong work ethic, to invest the long hours and commitment required for delivering entertainment content.

Increasing Creativity

Hiring neurodiverse brings a unique perspective to creative work. Individuals on the autism spectrum often have different ways of thinking, problem-solving, and interpreting the world. Individuals on the autism spectrum often think outside the box and can bring fresh, unconventional ideas to creative projects. This can lead to groundbreaking and boundary-pushing content.

Strengthening Your Corporate Brand

According to the CDC, about 1 in 36 children have been identified as being on the autism spectrum. (Source: Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2020) This means it is likely that your employees and your audiences may have children who are on the spectrum or may be neurodiverse themselves. Thus, they will greatly appreciate organizations that are supporting neurodiversity and inclusivity, thereby enhancing a company’s public image and reputation.