My name is Oliver Fenghour and I am the Director and Founder of Advance: The Disability Consultants. I have a form of Autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome. I was diagnosed by a Professor of Neurology at Great Ormond Street at the age of 10. I was diagnosed with Dyspraxia at the age of 4. Upon leaving school at 16 I struggled for many years to find employment and found there was often a distinct lack of awareness and understanding of those who were Neurodivergent.
Eventually I was helped by the disability charity Mencap into employment with J Sainsburys PLC. Mencap supported me successfully in the workplace for about three years, yet with the financial crash in 2008 and the consequent austerity that followed, meant that the support I had received in the workplace was subsequently removed. I was fortunate that by the time my support in the workplace was removed I was functioning well in the workplace due to the excellent awareness and understanding that my employers and colleagues had of my needs and requirements as a Neurodivergent Adult.
I consider myself to be one of the more fortunate ones as only 21.7% of people on the Autistic Spectrum are in full-time employment and only 37% of people with autism in the United Kingdom are in some form of either part-time or full-time employment. Globally only 20% of people with autism are in employment and on average just over 50% of people who are Neurodivergent are in full time employment globally.
My primary objective of founding Advance: The Disability Consultants is to help give organisations the confidence, knowledge and skills required to think positively about giving Neurodivergent people access to meaningful sustainable employment where they can actively thrive and be successful. As a specialist Neurodiversity consultancy business we offer a wide suite of Neurodiversity training, consultancy and partnerships to help organisations become Neurodiversity confident employers.