Conference 2022

Thanks to all for making the 2022 conference a success. This is what a few of our attendees said:

“It was great to hear such a diversity of experiences and opinions.”

“Very Useful – looking at different aspects/viewpoints involving autism.”

“Thank you so much, it has been brilliant – so relevant and insightful for an autistic very late diagnosed woman and parent/carer working in local government bus struggling to maintain FT employment and remain healthy (physical and mental) and thriving. Please do run this conference again.”

“Fantastic event! So many different points of view. Very glad to see AP being made welcome to the event.”

“Was great to have a diversity of experiences in different contexts. Really generous sharing of experiences – thanks for all. Great day!”

There is overwhelming support to make this an annual event – watch this space!


Conference 2022 recording:

The conference recording is available herePlease note: We apologise that the recording quality is poor, we will do better next year!  But if you have any questions about any of the sessions, or have a suggestion for our 2023 conference, please contact us.


10:00 to 10:45 Registration and refreshments
10:45 to 11:00 Intro and housekeeping Nicola Martin
11:00 to 12:00 Session 1 The employability journey

      Nicola Martin

Judith Kerem

12:00 to 13:00 Session 2 Routes to developing an autistic person’s career

      Philip Wilson

Mahlia Amatina

13:00 to 14:00 Lunch
14:00 to 15:00 Session 3 Autism doctoral studies, findings and future

Ian Iceton

Barbara Sandland

15:00 to 16:00 Session 4 Improving employment outcomes for the autistic community

      Nick Heckscher

Katie Ralph

16:00 to 16:30 Whole panel Q&A and closure Craig Walker
16:30 to 17:00 Networking and refreshments

Biographies and talk titles

Mahlia Amatina:

Role: Neurodivergent artist and advocate

Talk title: Portfolio careers: a viable option for autistic people?

Bio: After being diagnosed with autism in 2015, Mahlia was inspired to share the unique sensory experiences of life on the autism spectrum through her art. Her visionary work includes vibrant abstract paintings, immersive interactive installations, writing and innovative digital pieces, with themes centring on her personal diagnosis journey, as well as raising understanding and acceptance around neurodiversity.

Mahlia’s advocacy work is core to her practice, with autism in the workplace, and the building of neurodiverse-inclusive working environments of a particular interest. She writes regularly for Employment Autism and is a qualified coach and mentor.


Nick Heckscher

Role: Chief Operating Officer, SSCL Resourcing

Talk title: The case for autism Inclusion as a template for inclusion for all

Bio: Nick has over 25 years’ experience in the recruitment industry designing, implementing and delivering transformational recruitment programmes. Currently he is Chief Operating Officer at SSCL, where his teams place approximately 50,000 staff per annum into predominantly public service roles. Prior to SSCL, Nick spent 3 years in the social enterprise sector helping employers to improve outcomes for autistic talent.

Ian Iceton

Role: Independent consultant

Talk title: The issues and opportunities for organisations in recruiting and then retaining autistic employees: a summary of my doctoral research findings

Bio: As a HR Director for 25 years, I have considerable experience in all aspects of the employment ‘function’ within organisations, I also have considerable experience of Diversity and Inclusion issues generally.

I have recently completed a six-year, part-time Doctorate at Cranfield University, focusing on the issues and opportunities for organisations in recruiting and then retaining Autistic employees. I would aim to share a summary of my findings in my conference speech.

Judith Kerem

Role: Development Director of CareTrade charity

Talk title: The workplace in practice: Real-life experience

Bio: Judith has worked in the field of autism for over 23 years. She is currently the Development Director at CareTrade Charitable Trust, a small charity that provides training for young people with autism who want to move into employment. Judith has previously worked at Treehouse School and the National Autistic Society.

In 2004 she completed her MA in Lifelong Learning at Birkbeck, which has led to successful programmes and projects being developed to support employment for Autistic graduated and job seekers. Judith regularly carries out training and consultancy and has presented at a number of conferences both in the UK and internationally.

Nicola Martin

Role: Nicki is currently Professor of Social Justice and Inclusive Education. Nicola is also a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge and Sheffield Hallam Universities, a National Teaching Fellow and a Fellow of the RSA.

Talk title: A research informed exploration of barriers and enablers in relation to autism