In this podcast, Brian Runciman interviews Lisa Ventura, a cybersecurity professional and advocate for neurodiversity and disability inclusion. Lisa shares her journey from working in the entertainment industry to transitioning into cybersecurity, driven by her fascination with hacking psychology and social engineering. She emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about cybersecurity among smaller businesses and individuals, regardless of size, and discusses her ongoing diagnostic journey for neurodiverse conditions such as autism, ADHD, and dyspraxia.
Lisa recounts her unexpected autism diagnosis in 2018 and subsequent discoveries about her neurodiversity, including ADHD traits and potential dyspraxia. She describes the challenges she faced in traditional office environments due to sensory overload and time management issues associated with ADHD. Lisa highlights the importance of assistive technology, such as task planners, reminders, and transcription tools, in managing her conditions and improving productivity.
Moreover, Lisa advocates for workplace accommodations and greater understanding of neurodiversity among employers. She suggests creating a ‘needs passport’ where individuals can list their specific requirements for optimal work performance, promoting inclusivity and productivity.
Throughout the conversation, Lisa shares resources for individuals seeking information on neurodiversity, including organizations like the National Autism Society and Thrive Neurodiversity. She encourages neurodivergent individuals to embrace their identities and communicate their needs to employers, emphasizing the mutual benefits of understanding and accommodation.
In conclusion, Lisa expresses gratitude for the opportunity to discuss neurodiversity and disability inclusion, highlighting the importance of fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment for all individuals.