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Working to enhance autism acceptance

Katie Toner from Northumberland is a neurodivergent business owner and advocate working to help North East businesses and organisations become more inclusive. 

Katie who is 29-years-old and from near Hexham was diagnosed as autistic and ADHD within the past three years and is now becoming an effective and active voice for equal opportunities and inclusion for the neurodivergent and disabled communities in the region.

This week is autism acceptance week and April is autism awareness month, so Katie is working with a number of North East businesses to enhance their approach to inclusivity. 

Katie is currently organising ‘Neurofest’ which will take place on Saturday 6 April 2024 at the Marsden Community Centre in South Shields. The family-friendly event is a celebration of inclusion, is open to all and will be raising money for a number of North East charities, including Kayaks, a charity working with the local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) community.

Earlier this week, Katie visited the Newcastle-based train company, Lumo, where she met with many of the company’s workforce to share her personal story and experiences of how public transport can be even more accessible and inclusive. 

Katie Toner, said: “It’s refreshing to see people looking at inclusion and accessibility from a neurodivergent and invisible disability perspective as well as being aware of mobility issues. The team were genuinely engaged and enthusiastic about what more can be done to attract people like me to travel with confidence and enjoy the experience when travelling. Anything that makes like less stressful is a positive step.” 

Read full article HERE