Ina Ciel Digital is a creative business bringing together neurodiverse talents with a broad ecosystem of coaches and experts to develop ideas and design accessible products and services.
This ecosystem has at its heart a hub supported by a mesh of academic, tech and design partners and individuals to co-create digital products like web sites, apps, online systems and devices. These could be client commissions, in-house products and incubated ideas for autistic entrepreneurs.
We are considering extending this to an incubator where autistic people prefer to develop their own products and startup as entrepreneurs and seek a support structure that understands them.
As a social enterprise, it would be supported by grants, loans, sponsorship and clients. It would be accountable by measurable social impact as well as a viable business model to support the mission.
Autistic and other people have differences in perceiving and engaging with the world than many others do.
This causes exclusion and lack of access to everyday needs like education and jobs in life, as well as mental health and independent living issues.
According to the National Autistic Society, only 16% of autistic adults have full-time employment. With increased rates of diagnosis in children, the identified numbers and their needs in the adult autistic population will only rise and require new career and life pathways that adjust to their differences now.
Many problems autistic and other adults face in life could be improved with accessible digital technology tailored for them like managing services, communication, anxiety issues, social isolation. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism found that 71% of adults did not get the support they needed despite ten years of the Autism Act mandating adult autistic services at local and national levels.
Parents, carers and families lack cohesive and centralised views of the services and agencies available to them, as well as information on rights, benefits and other support available.
Social carers, healthcare professionals and employers working with autistic and other people lack the necessary specific training or understanding of conditions like autism. An All Party-Parliamentary Group on Autism study found that only 22% of autistic adults felt their GPs had a good understanding of autism.
Autistic and other people will benefit from a neurodiversity-friendly working environment for work opportunities and access to coaching in a way that works to their strengths and allows them to flourish in sustainable careers. Given the right environment, autistic people could apply their cognitive difference in creative ways to solve existing problems. This context will improve their wellbeing and sense of fulfilment with financial independence.
Neurodiversity consumers, their parents, carers and families will gain aids to help them in their lives on practical and other levels.
Carers, health professionals, employers and others working with them will be more effective in treating or supporting neurodiversity people with a deeper understanding and expertise.
Marc Goblot, the father and advocate of an autistic daughter, uses his lengthy background in digital technology direction for creative agencies and tech consultancies as well as in autism causes like the National Autistic Society to connect Ina Ciel Digital to his contacts in a partner ecosystem of academics, tech and design agencies, consultancies and freelancers, primarily based in London and elsewhere in the UK.
The project will start locally in London and extend via its ecosystem of partners elsewhere in the UK over time. The possibilities of networks to enable connected and remote working adds to the flexibility and scale of options.
We hope to foster several aspirational outcomes:
A consumer market for inclusive and accessible digital apps and products
Enable neurodiversity people to have agency and create their digital product businesses
Provide education and training for people working with neurodiversity people to be more effective through better understanding and empathy