The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) will be holding interactive online sessions on autism and dyslexia in the veterinary professions this month, as part of Neurodiversity Celebration Week starting on Monday 15th March 2021.
Neurodiversity refers to differences in human brains and thinking, rejecting the idea that there is one version of ‘normal’ for how we think, process information or relate to others.
On Tuesday 16th March, between 12:30pm and 1:30pm, MMI will be holding a panel discussion on autism in the veterinary professions hosted by a veterinary surgeon and mental health researcher, Rosie Allister. Also on the panel are:
- Emily Craven, a farm vet and the British Veterinary Association’s Young Vet of the Year 2019 who often talks about being an autistic vet on social media
- Kirstie Pickles, an equine vet who has written about her experiences with autism as part of BVA’s Good Workplace initiative
- Cal May, a veterinary nurse and joint venture partner at Vets4Pets Alsager which recently became the first veterinary surgery to receive the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award in recognition of businesses that have made themselves more accessible to autistic people and their families.
On Thursday 18th March, also between 12:30pm and 1:30pm, MMI will be hosting a session on dyslexia hosted by BVA President, James Russell, and veterinary surgeon Rory Cowlam. James has previously written on his own dyslexia and how veterinary workplaces can better recognise and become more accommodating towards a neurodiverse workforce, while Rory (AKA Rory the Vet from CBBC’s The Pet Factor) is an ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association.
Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters Manager, said: ‘This is the first year that we are doing specific events for Neurodiversity Celebration Week and we are glad to have some wonderful guests who can really speak to their lived experience of autism and dyslexia.
‘The veterinary community is all the richer for our neurodiverse colleagues, clients, and leaders. We hope that through our events this week we can celebrate individual differences while tackling stigma and misconceptions and raising awareness of how workplaces and communities can become more inclusive.’
You can sign up to join any of the events for free by visiting the Eventbrite sign up page.
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