October 9, 2023 Press Releases
Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Receives Certified Neurodiverse Workplace™ Credential, Strengthens Workplace Inclusivity
The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts achieves the Certified Neurodiverse Workplace™ (CNW) designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This credential is a testament to the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ commitment to creating a more inclusive work environment, and it shows their dedication to enhancing their organization through neurodiversity inclusion. Implementing inclusive practices like staff training, accommodations and updated policies allows organizations to nurture their existing staff and attract potential employees, creating a diverse and accessible workplace while staying ahead in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.
“We are immensely proud to share with our community our recent certification as a neurodiverse workplace. Embracing neurodiversity is both a step towards more equitable practices and a more inclusive future for the foundation,” says Megan Burke, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “This recognition reinforces our commitment to creating a workplace where every individual can contribute their unique talents and experiences, ensuring that the Community Foundation reflects the diversity and potential of our region.”
In today’s competitive business landscape, organizations are recognizing the value of neurodiversity inclusion. The Certified Neurodiverse Workplace™ program by IBCCES helps leaders and teams hire, retain and collaborate effectively with neurodivergent workers (e.g., autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other cognitive differences). It offers evidence-based content, insights from neurodivergent individuals, ongoing support, and renewal requirements for continuous learning and lasting impact.
“Earning our certification as a neurodiverse workplace is one step in our process to work towards a more inclusive workplace,” explains Briana Wales-Thaxton, vice president for people and culture for the Community Foundation. “In addition to the certification training, we also participated in a neurodiversity audit of our organization and received a set of recommendations for policy updates, operational considerations, and training solutions. We are committed to supporting this holistic, long-term process because we believe that building a more equitable and inclusive environment for our staff and volunteers supports us in expanding and supporting that work across the region.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts to help enhance their inclusivity measures within the workplace,” says Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “Neurodiversity inclusion in the workplace is an essential part of creating an environment where all employees feel comfortable, welcome, and valued. The Community Foundation is setting an excellent example of best workplace practices, and we hope that other organizations will follow suit.”
To facilitate access to certified locations and professionals, IBCCES created CertifiedAutismCenter.com, a free online resource that lists organizations that have met the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) or Certified Neurodiverse Workplace™ (CNW) requirements. This platform enables individuals and families to identify inclusive businesses and workplaces that are committed to understanding and supporting neurodivergent individuals.